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51 and 53 La Salle Street. 

At the 4neeting of the General Association of Illinois, held at 
Bloomington, May 26th, 1859, and onward, the Committee, appointed 
to investigate the relations of Congregationalists to Ktfox College, 
having reported, it was unanimously voted, " That we adopt the Report 
of the Committee on Knox College, and authorize the same Com- 
mittee to publish and distribute said Report in such way as they 
think expedient: also to secure, if practicable, an adjustment of the 
affairs of Knox College on terms which shall be satisfactory to the 
two denominations principally concerned ; and of their doings, report 
to this body at its next annual meeting." 


</./ '"'# 


For several years the public ear lias been vexed with the 
sound of controversy in connection with Knox College, located 
at Galesburg, in this State. Two important denominations 
have seemed to be in strife respecting it. The New School 
Presbyterians have been understood to claim, that the college, 
with its noble endowment, now amounting to nearly four hun- 
dred thousand dollars, was founded and enriched by them, and 
ought to be of right, and would be hereafter in fact, adminis- 
tered by them. The Congregational is ts, insisting that they 
participated in its foundation and chiefly furnished its endow- 
ment, have claimed, that the institution should continue to be 
upon a union basis, and should not be ma$e distinctively sec- 
tarian. For the sake equally of truth, justice and peace, it is 
desirable that the facts of the case should be ascertained and 
the rights of all parties settled. 

In order to this, the General Association of the Congrega- 
tional Ministers and Churches of Illinois, at their session in 
May 1858, appointed a committee of seven to investigate the 
facts and report the result, first to the public through the 
Congregational Herald, and subsequently to the General 
Association. (For the complete action of the General Associ- 
ation in this matter, see Appendix A.) The committee were 
directed to take as the guide of their inquiries, a Statement 
published by the Presbytery of Peoria and Knox in Septem- 
ber, 1857, and to ascertain whether it was correct; and further- 
more to consider and report upon the connected charges and 

p 47369 

\\^ 4 

action of that Presbytery against Rev. Edward Beecher, D.D. 
late the Moderator of the General Association. (For the docu- 
ment of the Presbytery in full, see Appendix B.) 

The Chairman convened the Committee at Galesburg, Sept. 
28th, 1358, by a notice printed in the Congregational Herald. 
Under date of Sept. 9th, he wrote letters to Rev. Dr. Curtis, 
President of the College, and to Rev. Dr. Gale, ex-Professor 
and one of the founders, as also chief Advocate of the Presby- 
terian side of the controversy, inviting them to be present at 
the meeting and to use all appropriate means to develop the 
facts before the Committee. Similar invitations were sent to 
Rev. J. Blanchard, ex-President of the College, and to Rev. 
Dr. Edward Beecher. (For a copy of these invitations see Ap- 
pendix C.) No reply was received from Drs. Curtis and Gale, 
nor did either of them appear, nor any one in their behalf, 
before the Committee. As soon as the Committee were to- 
gether, they dispatched a similar invitation to the Rev. J. W. 
Bailey, of Galesburg, Professor in the College and the stated 
Clerk of the Presbytery of Peoria and Knox; but no answer 
was returned, nor did the brother present himself, or any docu- 
ments, in the meeting of the Committee. Brethren Blanchard 
and Beecher attended and were heard at length. The Com- 
mittee at the beginning of their session also passed a resolution 
inviting the co-operation of all persons whatsoever, and parti- 
cularly of New School Presbyterians, in the investigation, 
throwing open the meeting to remarks, suggestions, arguments, 
corrections, testimony, and documents from any quarter. (See 
Minutes of the Committee, Appendix D.) During the several 
sessions of the Committee, and again at the close, most urgent 
appeals were made by the Chairman and other members, to 
the large company present (containing persons of all parties, 
many of whom were familiar with the facts) to bring forward 
anything with which the Committee ought to be made aquaint- 
ed. And finally, as a last appeal, the Chairman, by direction 
of the Committee, wrote a second time to Rev. Dr. Gale, and 


through him to Messrs. Curtis and Bailey, after the public 
meeting at Galesburg, desiring those gentlemen to forward to 
the Committee, by the 20th of October, any documents which 
they deemed it important for them to examine. To this a 
reply was made, dated Chicago, 19th of October, declining to 
comply with the request, for several assigned reasons, for which, 
with inserted remarks in reply, see Appendix C. 

The Rev. Drs. Barnes and Hopkins, originally associated 
with the Committee by the resolution of this body, were not 
able to accept their appointment, and there seemed to be no 
opportunity to fill the vacancy with men of similar relations to 
the parties concerned. Messrs. Eli Farnham and Julius De 
Long appeared as "advisory members" from the "First 
Church of Christ" and the " First Congregational Church," 
of Galesburg, during the session in that place. 

While, so far as the moral influence of the investigation is 
concerned, the Committee regret the want of co-operation by 
our Presbyterian brethren, they are not aware that their means 
of information have been seriously, if at all, restricted thereby. 
During the progress of the controversy so many articles have 
been published by those brethren, and, with the original docu- 
ments to which they refer, have come under examination by 
the Committee, that it may be said to be in full possession of 
their view of the case, and of what they claim to be the verit- 
able facts in the history of the institution. Much printed and 
oral testimony of an independent and unsectarian -character 
has also been accumulated, in addition to the statements of 
Congregationalists. The principal sources of information upon 
which the Committee have relied are these: the personal tes- 
timony of some of the original founders of the colony, church 
and college, and of early settlers in the town ; copies of the 
original plan of the enterprise, of the original subscription and 
of the sales made in New York State after the location was 
determined ; certified abstracts of county records, showing by 
whom the farming lands, which originally endowed the college, 

V 6 

were actually purchased and to whom they were deeded; 
statements of Trustees of the college ; testimony of members 
and officers of the First Church of Galesburg; a certified list 
of the original members and their denominational relations; 
printed Manual of said Church and its history, by Rev. Dr. 
Gale; History of the town and college by Rev. Dr. Gale; 
printed letters and communications of Rev. Drs. Gale and E. 
Beecher, Prof. Losey, 0. H. Browning, Esq., and others, in 
various secular and religious newspapers ; the Charter of Knox 
College; the Inaugural Address of President Curtis; the 
Records of the "First Church" in Galesburg; the printed 
action of the Presbytery of Peoria and Knox; the printed 
address and other articles of Rev. Dr. E. Beecher respecting 
Knox College and its recent difficulties; annual reports of the 
" Western College" Society ; and letters from Rev. Dr. Chapin 
of Beloit College, S. P. Williston and others acquainted with 
important facts bearing on the points in controversy . 

The Committee are therefore persuaded that they are sub- 
stantially in possession of the facts and arguments urged by all 
parties to this controversy, so as to enable them to do justice 
to the truth. 

As the duty assigned by the General Association was, " to 
enquire into certain statements put forth by the Presbytery of 
Peoria and Knox touching the relations of Presbyterians and 
Congregationalists to said institution," the Committee will re- 
port upon the several statements referred to in order, simply 
premising, that this Report is accompanied with a copious 
Appendix, in which will be found documents abundantly cor- 
roborating every position taken by the Committee, and to 
which, upon the publication of the Report, they would direct 
the special attention of the reader, as affording him the means 
of forming an independent judgment in the case. It is hoped 
that no reader will fail to turn to the Appendix and read the 
proof, when he meets the reference to it in the Report. 

I. The Presbytery deny that any intention exists among 

New School Presbyterians to make Knox College a sectarian 
institution under their control. Their language is, "The 
charge has been publicly made and zealously circulated, that 
the Presbyterian body are aiming to secure the entire control 
of Knox College, in order to make it a sectarian institution. 
Such a charge we do not hesitate to say, is wholly unfounded. 
* * * No design exists among the Presbyterian body to make 
this college a sectarian institution." (See Appendix B.) In 
support of this denial they allege, that they speak from know- 
ledge, because the Presbyterian members of the College Board 
of Trust are almost all within the bounds of that Presbytery, 
as ministers and church members. 

It is important to understand what is meant by a " sectari- 
an" college. The phrase is not currently used in the sense 
that the students are restricted to a particular denomination, 
nor that active and direct efforts are made to proselyte them to 
a specific creed, nor that all the Trustees or Professors are 
characterized by a common faith. Harvard University has for 
years been known as Unitarian (by usurpation, however, as 
the Orthodox contend) and Brown University as Baptist, with- 
out either of these things being true of them. But a college is 
deemed sectarian, when, by means of a majority of its Board 
of Trust, it is controlled by, and for the interest of, a particular 
sect, who shape its affairs, fill the professorships chiefly with 
their own men, and secure its influence generally in favor of 
themselves. That an attempt is making, and is likely to suc- 
ceed, to render Knox College " sectarian," in this, the custom- 
ary and technical sense, we deem almost too obvious for 
argument, and are not a little astonished at the denial made 
by the Presbytery. Let the following facts and consid- 
erations have weijht. 

1. Such a design is a matter of public notoriety and state- 
ment, and this equally among Presbyterians as others. At 
Galesburg, at Chicago, in other cities and towns throughout 
the State, among ministers and laymen, this is a common topic 


of conversation, in which no one disputes the/ac, but only its 
rightfulness. Presbyterians are everywhere heard claiming the 
college as properly theirs, rejoicing in their success in having 
gained possession of it, and stating their determination here- 
after to exercise distinctive control. The Committee them- 
selves and thousands of others are witnesses in support of this 

2. Such a design accords with the prevailing tendency 
of the New School Presbyterian denomination at the present 
time. Once its characteristeric spirit was that of fraternity and 
union with their Congregational brethren ; now it is that of 
division and distinct action. The acknowledged aim of its 
modern leaders is, to act as far as possible denominationally, 
and the initiative steps have been rapidly taken, at first by in- 
creasing majorities, and lately by unanimous votes, in the 
General Assembly, on the subjects of Church Extension, 
Church Erection, Home and Foreign Missions, the publication 
of books and tracts, and Ministerial Education. This new, 
sectarian spirit took its rise in the West and North West, and 
has developed with great zeal and force in our own region. It 
has led to efforts to break up the happy union of Presbyterians 
and Congregationalista in Wisconsin, to the establishment of 
sectarian Presbyterian colleges in this and contiguous States, 
and to the rejection of proposals from the Congregationalists 
for a union Theological Seminary for the North-West, and a 
decision to institute one for themselves alone. That such a 
denominational fervor, abjuring the plans of the old counselors, 
reversing the former methods of the body, and forming, in 
their own language, " a new epoch in the history of our [N. S. 
Presbyterian] church," (Minutes of Gen. Assembly for 1855, 
page 49.) should avail itself of an opportunity to gain the con- 
trol of an important and prospectively wealthy institution, on 
the field of its warmest conflict, is surely not improbable ; and 
the connection of the two things must be obvious to every in- 
telligent observer. 


3. Such a design is the ouly explanation of the singular 
and persistent course which has been pursued for years by the 
Presbyterian party in the Board of Trust of Knox College. 
That course is known to have been followed in connection with 
close and frequent consultation with the leading minds of the 
denomination in this region. Though we would not deny that 
the difficulties in the Board had their aggravation, if not their 
origin, in private and personal jealousies, it is clear that they 
soon took a sectarian form and spirit. The deliberate aim 
seemed to be, to break down the power cf Congregationalism 
in the Board, and to give the control of the institution to the 
Presbyterians. To accomplish this, resort was had to most 
unjustifiable means; among which may be mentioned, two 
factious flights out of annual meetings of the Board (in 
1849 and 1857) breaking up a quorum and thus preventing 
all business, when they found themselves in a minority, with 
an affirmed purpose to repeat the act whenever necessary for 
their party purposes (See Appendix E) ; violation of a com- 
promise which, when a minority, they had accepted at the elec- 
tion of certain new Trustees, but which they disregarded as 
soon as they found themselves in a majority (See Appendix 
E) ; and a disregard of promises to fill one of the two recent 
vacancies in the Faculty with a Congregationalist (See /, ppen- 
dix E and G). This sectarian design appears further, in the 
device by which a majority of those voting (two being present 
and not voting) at the meeting of the Board in June 1857, 
were induced to request the resignation of Pres. Blarichard. 
The proposal was, that, as a means of healing the difficulties in 
the college, the two members of the Faculty (Pres, B. and 
Prof. Gale) who were at variance, should both resign their 
professorships. This on its face was fair, but in reality was 
most unequal ; since it attempted to adjust a difficulty without 
reference to its merits ; it called upon Pres. B. in the prime of 
life, in vigor of body and mind, and in the midst of a most 
popular and successful work as a teacher, to resign along with 
Prof. G. who was aged and infirm, so as to have required an 


assistant or substitute during two previous years ; and it neces- 
sitated Pres. B. to lose his seat in the Board, which he held 
only ex-officioj while it left Prof. G. as a regular Trustee still in 
his place. The result was, that by the change of votes thus 
secured, the revolution so long sought was accomplished, and 
the control of the college passed from those who administered 
it as a union institution, to those who, in the sense explained 
above, desire to make it sectarian. 

Since that evil success, the progress has been in the same 
direction. Every proposal by the Congregationalists, whether 
made in or out of the Board, to refer the whole matter at issue 
to an arbitration of disinterested men, has been steadily refused 
by the Presbyterians. (See Appendix E and G). Nay, more; 
when an assurance was given that the Congregationalists 
would unite in the election of a N. S. Presbyterian President, 
and would consent to a unanimous vote of the Board for some 
unsectarian man of that denomination, (such as Rev. Dr. Asa 
D. Smith) who would command the respect and confidence of 
both parties, the offer was firmly refused ! (See Appendix E) 
What could these ihings indicate, but a determination so to 
use their present power as to perpetuate a strictly Presbyterian 
and sectarian control, and to secure a President who would 
sympathize with the design'and aid in its execution ? Hence 
a gentleman was finally elected by them to that post, (by a vote 
of thirteen to eleven in a Board of twenty four) who was one 
of the most objectionable men to Congregationalists, as such, 
in the whole West, and had taken an active part in this very 
difficulty; while the vacnnt professorship of Prof. Gale was 
filled by a N . S. Presbyterian of similar spirit, who is the stated 
Clerk of the very Presbytery whose document is under review. 

A party in the Board of Trust acting with such unity, with 
such persistence, with such disregard of the rules of order, and 
with so much of the appearance of a faction bent upon carrying 
their ends by whatever means, must have some strong impel- 
ling motive beyond mere personal hostility to a particular offi- 
cer. When we place the facts in their connections, and view 


the earlier in the light of the later, how can we resist the con- 
viction, that there has been a settled design effectually to 
break down the power of Congregationalism in the Board, and 
to give the institution into the hands of Presbyterians for their 
distinctive use and control ? 

4. This design to Presbyterianize the college was plainly 
declared by President Curtis in his recent inaugural address. 
He does, indeed, with much ingenuity and earnestness repudi- 
ate the term " sectarian," at least " in any odious sense," say- 
ing in his historical sketch of the college, "It was not designed 
to be sectarian." " It was not a sectarian movement." But a 
careful perusal of his words in their connection, will convince 
the reader, that in his denial he uses the epithet " sectarian" 
only in its most intense and reproachful meaning ; and that so 
far is he from disavowing a purpose to denominationalize the 
institution, that he states and defends it, repudiating only any 
undue " intensity" of zeal and method, such as would make 
the Trustees and Faculty an open and notorious " Propagan- 
da" of Presbyterianism. Thus he declares, " It was expected 
that, as a matter of course, the prevailing type of Christian 
sentiment here would be a Calvinistic faith acting in and 
through Presbyterian organizations * * * Any Christian 
man who is fit to be a public teacher will have firmly estab- 
lished and well defined religious sentiments ; and it is exceed- 
ingly important, that in each public institution there should be 
a general harmony of sentiment. This will not beget an in- 
tense denominationalism. It will prevent it rather, by remov- 
ing the elements and occasions of jealousy and strife by which 
sectarianism is nourished. * * * The founders of Knox 
College designed it to be a Presbyterian institution. * * * 
Is it too much to claim, that Knox College, with its indubita- 
ble parentage, with its well known early history and its appro- 
priate and significant name,* shall be permitted to be held and 

# What does Dr. Curtis mean by deriving an argument for the 
Presbyterian control of the College, from its name ? Does he suppose it 


worked mainly by those whom that name befits and who sym_ 
palhize most nearly with its founders?" (See Appendix F.) 
These and similar expressions and arguments clearly reveal a 
plan to make Knox College a denominational, Presbyterian in- 
stitution, and to prevent what Dr. Curtis terms " sectarian- 
ism," by " removing the elements and occasions of jealousy and 
strife by which it is nourished," or, in other words, by remov- 
ing Congregationalists from the Boards of Trust and Instruc- 
tion ! 

5. To complete the proof of this design, it needs only to be 
added, that it has been repeatedly avowed by leading men of 
the N. S. Presbyterian body within a few months, and in im- 
mediate connection with the election of Dr. Curtis to the 
Presidency, and his acceptance of the office. (For specific ev- 
idence see Appendix G.) It is no secret, that during the ses- 
sions of the General Assembly in Chicago, careful consultation 
was had with the most prominent men as to the course to be 
pursued in relation to Knox College, and that Dr. Curtis was 
urged to accept the Presidency, at whatever peril to other in- 
terests, in order to insure the success of the scheme for bring- 
ing it under distinctive Presbyterian control. (See Ap- 
pendix G.) Thus, plans which at first may have been the fruit 
of personal pique, or local controversy, have been interwoven 
with the ambitious designs of a sect, and have obtained the 
dignity of at least a private -endorsement by the master minds 
of its highest tribunal. 

These five considerations satisfy the Committee that the 
language of the Presbytery of Peoria and Knox on this first 
point, is fitted to mislead the public mind, and to convey an 
idea the reverse of the truth. 

II. The Presbytery claim, that Knox College was original- 
ly founded by and for N. S. Presbyterians. Their language 

was named after John Knox, the Presbyterian hero of Scottish memory ? 
If so, he betrays remarkable ignorance, in view of his official station ; 
since it is notorious that the institution was named from the county se- 
lected for the location, which commemorates the worth of Gen. Henry 


is, "We have in our possession and subject to our control, in- 
contestible evidence of the following facts, viz. : that the idea 
of founding Knox College originated among Presbyterians 
that it was successfully carried into execution by them * * * 
that it was for more than ten years after its foundation under 
their entire control, and that its founders desired and expected 
that the Presbyterian body should have a larger share in the 
control of the institution than any other body." 

It would have greatly relieved the labors of the Committee, 
if, in response to their invitation, the stated Clerk of the Pres- 
bytery had brought forward, in support of these positive affirm- 
ations, the " incontestible evidence" which is declared to be 
" in their possession and .subject to their control." Why it 
was withheld,* it is not for the Committee to say ; but it is 
singular, that the abundant testimony which did come before 
them, publicly, in a clear and explicit form, tended to establish 
a very different proposition, and to satisfy the Committee that 
the College was from the beginning a union enterprise, the de- 
nominational question not having been even mentioned at its 
origin. This may be argued from three considerations. 

1. At the date of the founding of the College the two de- 
nominations acted in union in nearly every benevolent, eccle- 
siastical and educational enterprise. There was a spirit of 
liberality and concession on both sides, so that the two worked 
in unbroken harmony. The new settlements were jointly oc- 
cupied, and the strength of both denominations was exerted 
to build up the same churches, schools, colleges and theological 
seminaries. In this very State they had a few years before 
united in establishing Illinois College, at Jacksonville. They 
contributed together to aid Foreign Missions through the 
American Board, to support Home Missions through the 
American Home Missionary Society, and to educate young 

* It may be well to state, that from other sources the Committee 
succeeded in obtaining copies of the documents to which reference is here 
made, and find that they prove the very opposite of what is claimed by 
the Presbytery ! 


men for the ministry through the American Education So- 
ciety. Even President Curtis in his "Inaugural Address" is 
compelled to use language such as this, concerning the charac- 
ter of the time when the college was founded : " It was com- 
menced and carried forward during the palmy period of co-ope- 
ration, when Congregationalists worked harmoniously with 
Presbyterians in the work of education and missions, home and 
foreign. We were all full of love and union then, 'neither 
said any one that aught of the things which he possessed was 
his own, but they had all things common.'" (page 9) "This 
witness is true," and the fact so fully admitted, and corrobora- 
ted, as we shall hereafter see by the perfect silence of the College 
Charter and Records as to any denominational claims, makes it 
absurd to suppose that the college was intended to be character- 
istically Presbyterian. Indeed, Pres. Curtis directly concedes 
the fact of its union origin, in the passage where he speaks of 
" three colleges," including Beloit, on the line, as having " been 
built up in this State by the united counsels and funds of New 
School Presbyterians and Congregationalists," and argues that 
"Beloit" has become "strongly Congregational," (for a refuta- 
tion of which assertion see President Chapin's letter in Ap- 
pendix W.), and " Illinois" is " trying to balance itself on the 
pivot of neutrality," and therefore " Knox" ought to be made 
over to the N. S . Presbyterians ! It was indeed founded in a 
day of union and common enterprises, by men who came from 
churches partly Presbyterian and partly Congregational, but 
all or nearly all united on "The Plan of Union," and. though 
it may be natural for those who are now intensely sectarian, to 
imagine that they were always such, and that their fathers pos- 
sessed the same spirit, the facts of history cannot be altered to 
correspond with the delusion. 

. The same fact is evident from historical evidence per- 
taining to the establishment of the town and college, by which 
the union character of the whole enterprise is demonstrated be- 
yond successful contradiction. There is some dispute concern- 


ing the first originator of the plan, as that period was fertile in 
projected colleges at the West, about fifty college charters hav- 
ing been granted, it is said, by the Legislature of Illinois 
alone, within a year or so of that time, and the proposal to es- 
tablish such an institution being a frequent subject of conver- 
sation among a circle of Christian reformers with whom Mr < 
Gale was then associated. Still the Committee find no reason 
to doubt that Mr. Gale gave practical shape to the floating 
idea, and was the active agent in securing a positive attempt 
to realize it; and, as a knowledge of what he was at that day, 
is essential to an understanding of the spirit and meaning of 
the enterprise, it is necessary to state a fe w facts in that con- 
nection. One acquainted with the present Rev. Dr. Gale, 
the decided Presbyterian and the cautious conservative, would 
scarcely recognize the personal identity between him and the 
Rev. Mr. Gale who was the leading spirit of the scheme under 
consideration. In 1835 Mr. Gale was known as a Presbyte- 
rian minister with strong Congregational sympathies, belonging 
to the Presbytery of Oneida and the Synod of Utica, which 
were partly composed of Congregational churches connected with 
Presbytery on the "Plan of Union," by reason of which they 
were in 1837 exscinded by the General Assembly from the 
Presbyterian church. He was, moreover, of the class of min- 
isters in New York State, technically known at that time as 
"revivalists," being a personal friend and coadjutor of Rev. C. 
G. Finney. He was also a professor in "Oneida Institute," 
(now passed into other hands, but formerly under the Presiden- 
cy of Rev. Beriah Green, and well known as a radically reforma- 
tory institution,) and was an earnest reformer, taking bold and 
decided ground on the temperance, Sabbath, manual labor and 
anti-slavery questions, at a time when by so doing ministers 
lost caste among their brethren. fSee Appendix J and L .) 
He conceived the plan of establishing in the "far West" a re- 
formatory college on a liberal denominational basis, so that 
Congregationalists and Presbyterians of progressive sentiments 
might unite in it. It was to be done by purchasing a town- 


ship of land at government price, reserving grounds for college 
buildings and other public uses, and selling the remainder at an 
average of five dollars per acre (or fourfold the cost) to those 
who, for the sake of establishing the college, would purchase 
there rather than at a cheaper rate elsewhere. (See Appen- 
dix I.) An association was formed in 1835 to carry out the 
plan, embracing both Presbyterians and Congregationalists, 
(see Appendix I, J and P.,) and Mr. Gale undertook to pro- 
cure a colony of settlers. A subscription of about $28,000 
was raised ; mostly, as Mr. Gale alleges, among Presbyterians ; 
though the fact, if so, is of no consequence, since the subscrip- 
tion, as a whole, fell through, and was never but in very small 
part collected. (For full proof of this fact see Appendix H .) 
An exploring committee of three visited the West, but, through 
illness and other causes, accomplished nothing and reported no 
location, so that the enterprise was well nigh abandoned. Nev- 
ertheless, shortly after it was concluded to renew the effort, 
and a committee was appointed to select a location and pur- 
chase the land. This committee consisted of Sylvanus Ferris, 
Neheraiah West, Thomas Simmons and (Rev.) Geo. W. Gale, 
to whom was added on the way (in place of G. W. Gale) Sam- 
uel Tompkins. ('See Appendix I, J and K ; also History of 
the town and college, by Rev. Mr. Ga.le, page 7".)* Two of 

* Though this "History," written prior to any controversy, has 
been circulated as undisputed authority for thirteen years, Mr. Gale has 
recently attempted to discredit his own work, because it makes against his 
new and changed position. He now says, that it was only a loose, popu- 
lar history, written without the necessary documents, and was never in- 
tended to be strictly accurate; and, moreover, that Mr. Blanchard had the 
power given him to revise and alter it in the press at Cincinnati ! To 
which we reply: (1.) That this late attempt to discredit his work is, in 
the circumstances, very suspicious. (2.) That the History by its lists of 
names, numbers, dates, &c., shows that permanent documents must have 
been freely consulted. (3.) That its assertions are strictly corroborated 
by independent and original testimony. (4.) That on page 10 occur 
these words : " This sketch, designed for the double purpose of public in- 
formation and a document for reference, is necessarily minute." (5.) That 
Mr. Blanchard was only authorized to correct orthographical and rhetori- 
cal imperfections; that he did nothing more nor could have done, since h 
was a stranger to the facts, having only visited Galesburgh for a few days 
shortly before, and not then having any connection with the college. 
(See Appendix Q.) The pretended and only instance by way of illus- 


these (Simmons and Tompkins) were Congregationalists, and 
a third (Ferris) had been such for the principal portion of his 
religious life. (See Appendix J.) This Committee discharged 
their duty by proceeding to Illinois and purchasing the site 
where Galesburg and the college now stand. Mr. Gale, how- 
ever, did not participate in this, owing to a detention at De- 
troit through illness, his place, as before stated and as ac- 
knowledged by himself in his History, page 7, having been 
filled by Mr. Tompkins. The money, to a small extent, was vol- 
untarily contributed by some of the original subscribers, but 
was chiefly borrowed at bank, (Gale's History, pp. 5 and 7; 
also Dr. Gale's letters in Galesburg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857, 
and in Congregational Herald, July 19, 1858,) and was subse- 
quently repaid from the sales of farms and town lands "to 
emigrants from New York, Vermont and Maine, most of the 
Presbyterians and Congregationalists who had heard of and 
wished to join the enterprise." (Gale's History, p. 1 1 ; com- 
pare also page 3, and for large purchases by Congregational- 
ists, see Gale's letter in Galesburg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857, 
bottom of 5th column.) It is claimed that part of these sales 
were made in the State of New York, on the return of the 
purchasing Committee, to the original association, and that 
nearly all the purchasers were Presbyterians. For the facts 
on this point and a correction of gross errors of calculation, see 
Appendix at the close of the matter under letter H. The col- 
lege was provisionally organized, under the name of " Prairie 
College," by the original association at Whitesboro, N. Y., 
January, 1836, with a Board of Trust embracing Messrs. Sim- 
mons and Tompkins, who had never been Presbyterians insen- 

tration of such a change, given by Dr. Gale, through another, (Congrega- 
tional Herald, Sept. 16, 1858) in which he professes to quote from the "orig- 
inal manuscript," is not in point, and is quite deceptive; for, the original 
manuscript, from which the History was printed at Cincinnati, is not in 
existence, not having been preserved at the time, and Dr. Gale's quotation 
is merely from his own first or rough draft, from which he afterwards 
copied and prepared the manuscript which was sent to Cincinnati for the 
printed History. Moreover, the change pointed out does not affect the 
sense so as to alter its application to the present controversy. Extracts 
from this " History" will be found in Appendix I. 


timent or church relations, and at the time were members of 
Congregational churches in New York State, there being no 
church at Galesburg till the Spring of 1837. (See Gale's 
History, p. 10, and also Appendix J.) Another of these 
Trustees was Mr. Isaac Mills, also a Congregationalist, though 
inaccurately recorded as having come from a Presbyterian 
church; for proof of which, see Appendix N., statement of 
Col. Chauncey Adams. A charter, free from all denomi- 
national claims or allusions, was obtained, with the name_ 
of " Knox Manual Labor" College, from the Legislature of 
Illinois, one year later. From the first the appeal wns made 
to settlers by Mr. Gale and others, to come and buy lands at 
five dollars an acre, of the college, in order to build it up, in- 
stead of going a mile or two beyond and buying at govern- 
ment price ; and Congregationalists were particularly urged to 
engage in the enterprise, because it was not to be denomina- 
tional but united and liberal; and by these very representations 
the great body of the early settlers, who actually established 
the town and college, were induced to participate in the scheme. 
(Let every reader consult Appendix J and L .) The Com- 
mittee are fully persuaded that no reasonable doubt can be en- 
tertained that the town and college were established as a union 

3. Another source of proof on this point lies in the pecu- 
liar character of the church which was established by the first 
settlers, and which conlained all the original trustees. The 
facts relating to this matter are these : 

(1.) The material of the church was of mixed character- 
That the members were previously partly Presbyterian and part- 
ly Congregational, is undeniable. (See Appendix M.) On this 
question Mr. Gale's " History" contains the following state- 
ment (p. 4.) : " Early the ensuing Spring, after much consul- 
tation and prayer, a Presbyterian church was formed, consist- 
ing of 82 members: a part were fruits of the late revival, but 
the most united by certificate. They were Presbyterians and 
Congregationalists in nearly equal numbers; but both parties 


were resolved to yield their predilections rather than divide." 
Owing to the operation of the " Plan of Union," by which 
Congregational churches became connected to a certain extent 
with the Presbytery, and thus were often popularly called 
" Presbyterian," even by their own members, and also owing 
to the fact that Congregationalists often join Presbyterian 
churches, and on removal take letters from them, it is difficult 
to trace the actual denominational preferences of the early con- 
stituent members. Suffice it that both denominations were 
undoubtedly represented, as all accounts admit, and "in 
nearly equal numbers" as to their personal views, whatever 
may have been their last church connections, according to Mr- 
Gale's History, which is corroborated by the facts next to be 

(2.) The name adopted was Presbyterian. Let the under- 
standing among the members , and the internal organization 
and rules be what they might, the name would naturally be 
denominational, and the reason why the name Presbyterian 
was adopted in this case, is rendered clear b/ living testimony. 
(See Appendix J.) Dr. Gale and his party lay great stress on 
the name as denoting the distinctive denominational character 
of the whole enterprise from the beginning. But a reference 
to the testimony will show, that when the Christian settlers 
were assembled for the organization of a church, Mr. Samuel 
Tompkins, a Congregation alist, and one of the locating and 
purchasing Committee, moved that the question, whether the 
church should be Congregational or Presbyterian, should be 
decided by the majority vote of all the members, male and fe- 
male. This was certainly a singular motion, and most unlike- 
ly to be made, if it was understood from the first, that it was 
purely a Presbyterian enterprise, or even if the Presbyterian el- 
ement was largely predominant. Mr. Gale, thereupon, made an 
appeal in which, instead of claiming the enterprise as of course 
Presbyterian, he argued that it would be more expedient to 
take that name, because it was in better odor at the East, and 
would enable them to obtain funds more easily. At the same 


time he indicated his own slight attachment to Presbyterian- 
ism, and especially to the General Assembly, preferring to have 
nothing above the Presbytery ; a fact further indicated by his 
often quoting with approbation about that time, the noted re- 
mark made by Mr. Finney with reference to the yearly conten- 
tion in the General Assembly, that " Hell had a jubilee when- 
ever the General Assembly met." He also remarked, that 
" Brother Finney had left the Presbyterian Church, and that he 
was not himself prepared for that yet, but did not know how 
soon he might be." (See Appendix J, and compare fact con- 
cerning delegates to the General Assembly, stated on page 1 1 
of Gale's History, and cited in Appendix I.) By such rep- 
resentations the members were induced to waive their objec- 
tions, and to assume the name of a Presbyterian church . 

(3.) But the internal arrangements were conformed to Con- 
gregational views and customs in an important respect ; for it 
was decided at the organization, that all members should be 
admitted by direct vote of the church ; while, to keep up the 
Presbyterian appearance on the book of Records, which was to 
be sent up to Presbytery for examination, it was further ar- 
ranged, that a majority of the session or elders should be in 
the vote. This Congregational practice was commenced on 
the spot by the examination and reception of 18 members by 
profession, and there were no elders elected for two months. 
The early records were kept by a Presbyterian, who, writing 
for the eye of Presbytery, simply recorded the admissions as 
by " vote of session ;" but his successor was more accurate, and 
recorded them as by " vote of church and session," which ac- 
cords with Mr. Gale's statement in his printed " Church Man- 
ual/' in which he says, (p. 20) " It had always been custom- 
ary to examine persons applying for admission, in the presence 
of the church, and for them by vote to express their satisfac- 
tion with the candidate." (See Appendix J and P.) Yet in 
his letter in the Congregational Herald, July 28, 1858, Dr. Gale 
says, " The elders held the keys as firmly as any other session," 


and. in the Galeslurg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857, declares, that 
they organized " a church which was strictly Presbyterian ." 

(4.) The subsequent history of the church very plainly 
shows the strong Congregational spirit and element. In 1845 
a church edifice was erecting, but after the building was framed 
and ready to be raised, the work was brought to a stand for a 
week, because the Congregationalists complained that the 
records had not been accurately kept, and that the concessions 
made to them at the beginning were not recorded, and might 
be after a while denied or ignored, and they wished the whole 
matter definitely arranged. This was unanimously done by 
what is known as " The Compromise," which yet more largely 
modified, and, in the case of the Congregational mem- 
bers, nullified, the Presbyterianism of the government, and con- 
nected the church with the Congregational Association as well 
as the Presbytery. (The Appendix N, and P.) It is not 
surprising that on one occasion the Presbytery complained 
that the Records were those of a Congregational church! 

Another fact will show the weakness of Presbyterianism in 
the church and the once conciliatory spirit of Mr Gale. When 
Mr. Julius De Long was elected an elder, he objected that he 
could not conscientiously answer, as required by the Pres. Con- 
fession of Faith, that he " approved of the Government and 
Discipline of the Pres. Church in these United States;" where- 
upon Rev. Mr. Gale changed the phraseology, and publicly put 
the question thus: "Do you approve of the form of Presbyte- 
rian government as adopted by this Church ?" Mr. De Long is 
an " advisory member" of this Committee and testifies to this 
effect, and is corroborated in his positive memory or knowledge 
by Rev. L. H. Parker, who was acting as pastor of the Church 
at the time ancf was present, but who, as a Congregational ist 
and not belonging to Presbytery, took no part in the ordina- 
tion. (See Appendix O). 

In April 1853, the church, weary of waiting'for the purifica- 
tion of the N. S. Presbyterian body from slavery, and true to 


the reformatory principles and purposes of those who founded 
it, voted to send thereafter no delegate to Presbytery till it 
was purged from connection with that sin. (See Appendix N). 
In October 1855, the church definitely withdrew from Presby- 
tery by a unanimous vote, and in October 1856, it dropped the 
title "Presbyterian" from its name with similar unanimity. 

Thus the entire history of the Church concurs with the other 
facts named, to prove that the enterprise of colony and college 
was of a union nature. 

Ill . The Presbytery claim that the college has been car- 
ried on and endowed almost entirely by Presbyterian money. 
Their language is as follows : " We have in our possession and 
subject to our control, incontestible evidence of the following 
facts : viz., that the idea of founding Knox College originated 
among Presbyterians, that it was successfully carried into exe- 
cution by them ; that almost the whole amount of the prop- 
erty, by means of which the college has been carried on 
successfully for twenty years, and which now constitutes its 
large endowment, was given by them, <fcc." In a similar 
strain, Dr. Gale states, (Galesburg Free Democrat Aug. 19, 
1857,) " As to the sources of the funds, documents still in my 
possession show, that of the money invested in the lands that 
constituted the basis of the endowments,* (now from three to 
four hundred thousand dollars in amount,) only about one- 
thirtieth part was furnished by members of the Congregational 
church,*while about twenty-nine thirtieths were furnished by 
Presbyterians." The italics are by Dr. Gale. So also, Prof. 
Losey says, (Galesburg City News July 2, 1858,) " If ever an 
enterprise was projected and carried forward to its accomplish- 
ment by the counsels and funds of a single denomination, this 
is preeminently that enterprise." 

* It will be remembered, however, that, at best, the purchase of lands 
furnished but a part of the funds which have sustained the college, and 
that the Congregationalists yave over $40,000 in pure donations, in which 
form Presbj-terians gave next to nothing. The present endowment of the 
college is almost entirely the proceeds of the gift of Hon. Charles Phelps, 
a Congregationalism 


As very "different claims are urged by others who also profess 
to have investigated the whole subject, the Committee found 
it necessary to ascertain the ground on which such bold and 
unqualified statements were put forth by our Presbyterian 
brethren. As nearly as we can learn, the process by which 
they arrive at these exclusive pretensions, is as follows: 

(1.) They refer to the original subscription of about 
$28,000, made principally by Presbyterians, as Dr. Gale 
claims, (though he gives no names and furnishes no opportu- 
nity to test his assertion,) as though that sum had been ac- 
tually collected and paid into the treasury ; though, in fact, the 
subscription, as such, was abandoned, and but a fraction of the 
actual endowment was ever contributed by the original sub- 
scribers. (See Appendix H.) 

(2.) They claim as a Presbyterian purchaser or donor, 
every person who came last from a Presbyterian church ; though 
his personal sentiments and preferences may have been Con- 
gregational, and may be so at the present time ; though his 
connection for a time with a Presbyterian church may have 
been for mere reasons of local necessity or convenience ; and 
though the church itself may have been really Congregational,* 
and only nominally Presbyterian, on the " Plan of Union" 

(3.) And then, as they claim that the original church in 
Galesbnrg was strictly Presbyterian, they seem to regard 
membership in that church as sufficient proof of the denomina- 
tional character of donors with how little reason, facts pre- 
viously adduced have demonstrated. 

(4.) And finally, they seem to call all donors Presbyterians 
who are not Congregationalists; for they declare that Presbyte- 
rians gave " about twenty-nine -thirtieths," and Congregation- 

# The New School General Assembly reports 546 churches in the 
State of New York, of which 125 are Congregational in their internal pol- 
ity, having only a nominal connection with Presbytery. These instances 
were even more numerous at the time Galesburg was founded, with its col- 
lege, by emigrants from the section of New York where this " Plan of 
Uiiion" was common. 


alists "one-thirtieth;" and ordinary arithmetics only allow 
thirty-thirtieths in a whole number. 

In the calculations of this Committee no man (with a single 
exception, and he a supporter of a. Congregational Church of 
which his wife is a member) is set down as a Congregational- 
ist, who,*if living, does not authorize'such a use of his name ; 
or with reference to whom, if dead, there is not explicit testi- 
mony that such were his actual sentiments and preferences; 
while all are set down as Presbyterians, who are known or be- 
lieved to have been such. Moreover, the list of names was read 
at the first meeting of the Committee, before an audience of 
several hundred of the citizens of Galesburg, embracing men of 
both parties and acquainted with the facts ; and the request 
was urgently made and repeated by the Chairman and by other 
members of the Committee, that corrections should be suggest- 
ed by any person present ; but none were offered. Pains have 
been taken also to obtain a carefully drawn plan of all the 
property involved, with its divisions by sale, and also certified 
abstracts from the county records of all the sales of the farm 
lands for the years during which the establishment and en- 
dowment of the college was in progress, so that it might be 
accurately known who came there and purchased the original 
lands, with scholarships attached, at a high rate, for the express 
purpose of founding the college. They were the men who 
bought of the association at five dollars per acre, for colle- 
giate purposes, and not for speculation, when they could have 
bought near by for 1.25 per acre. The speculators among 
the early settlers, if any there were, were Rev. Mr. Gale and 
Sylvanus Ferris, Esq*, who bought, on their own private 
account, from the Government, at a dollar and a quarter per 
acre, large tracts lying immediately by the side of the colle- 
giate lands. Of course recent comers who have purchased from 
other parties, or have bought of the college since it has been 
endowed, and because the rapid growth of the place had 
attracted them there for business purposes, are not included by 


the Committee on either side of the calculation. The remarks 
which have been thrown out sarcastically by Dr. Gale and others 
respecting rights that Universalists may claim in the college, 
because vriihin a feio years they have bought considerable 
land from the college and established " Lombard University," 
are unworthy of candid men, and need no reply. 

The fractional portion of the original subscription which was 
voluntarily paid in, was given for the most part by those who 
received back the same in land from the Association at the 
assessed value at the time when those subscribers and others 
made a purchase, after the location; (See Gale's letter in 
Galesburg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857) and therefore in the 
enumeration of the sources of the collegiate funds, we need not 
begin back of the sale of the farm lands (with eighty scholar- 
ships attached, running for twenty-five years) which were set 
apart for that purpose. 

1. By the method explained above, the Committee have 
ascertained, that by the purchase of the farm lands, Congrega- 
tionalists paid into the treasury of the college $25,050, while 
Presbyterians paid in $7,400. See Appendix R, which con- 
tains also the sums paid by men not belonging to either side. 
To this part of the Appendix, the Committee would call the 
patient attention of every reader. 

2. Donations to the amount of $2,000 or $3,000 appear to 
have been obtained in England and at the East from miscel- 
laneous donors, in the i.*ay of books, apparatus and money. A 
large part of this is known to have come from Congregation^ 
alists, but the proportion from either denomination cannot now 
be ascertained, nor does the whole sum affect the general 
result. (See Gale's History p. 13, and Gale's Letter in Gales- 
burg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857.) 

3. The citizens of Galesburg and vicinity have subscribed 
$3,000, or more, towards the erection of the college buildings, 
but the sources have been of a mixed denominational character, 
though preponderatingly Congregational. 

4. The college has been very materially aided by two distant 



donors of liberal spirit. Indeed, had it not been for timely 
aid derived from this source and from that to be next men- 
tioned, all the previous endowments and property would have 
been entirely consumed in current expenses, and the very life 
of the institution endangered. 

Among these must first be mentioned Mr. J. P. Williston of 
Northampton, Mass, who, in a dark and trying hour, came 
forward, and by a succession of annual donations for the sup- 
port of the President and other purposes, gave to the college 
in money $10,000. And this gift, be it remembered, came in 
circumstances which rendered it of more value to the interests 
of the institution than a gift of ten times that amount would 
be at the present time. Mr. Williston is a Congregationalist, 
being a deacon of the First Congregational church of 
Northampton, Mass., and was induced to make this seasonable 
and liberal donation by his personal interest in President 
Blanchard, and sympathy with his views of reform and church 
polity, supposing the institution to be so far undenominational 
in its character as to be no less Congregational than Presbyte- 
rian. (See Appendix Q and S.) 

We are next called to consider the munificent gift of the 
late Hon. Charles Phelps, who gave to the college eighteen 
quarter sections of laud in Illinois, estimated to be worth, at 
the time, $30,000, and now constituting the principal part of 
the college endowment of over $300,000. Mr. Phelps became 
interested in the college through Pres. Blanchard, with whom 
he was distantly connected by marriage, and whose antislavery 
views he warmly approved ; as will be perceived by the fact 
that his letter announcing the gift specifies that the proceeds 
shall be appropriated to sustain a professorship "which shall 
teach an antislavery morality." Mr. Phelps was in sentiment 
a Congregationalist, (being one of three who together built an 
edifice for a Congregational Church in Vermont) though not a 
church member, and for the larger part of his life attended the 
Congregational church. By reason of a local difficulty he 
left and went to the Baptist church, with which his wife subse- 


quently united, and in that denomination he continued to 
worship at the East and after his removal to the West, 
during the remainder of his life. (See Appendix P). 

Aud here it may not be inappropriate to notice the change 
which has come over the spirit of the college in the effort to 
Presbyterianize it, furnishing a curious parallel with a similar 
change in the N". S. Presbyterian body, Its founders, including 
Mr. Gale, were earnest abolitionists and reformers, and the 
college was intended to promote reformatory views. This 
remained its spirit for years, so that on Mr. Blanchard's acces- 
sion to the Presidency, a literary Address, previously delivered 
by him, on the duty of the conductors of public educational 
institutions to take an interest in questions of reform, was 
published and bound up in the same covers with Prof. Gale's 
" History," in order,- as it is there stated, " to inform the friends 
and patrons of Knox College, what views and principles are to 
guide its President in the discharge of his duties." (For extracts 
see Appendix U). And because this was the known character 
of the college, the noble donation of Mr. Phelps was made to 
it, as we have seen. But the progress of distinctive Presbyte- 
rianism in the college has been marked pari passu by a con- 
servative, pro-slavery and anti-reformatory spirit. This was first 
indicated in 1851, when the N. S. Presbyterians moved for a 
distinct Theological Seminary in the North-West, in which 
Congregationalists should have no share, and Prof. Gale, as 
Chairman of a Committee, submitted a plan by which the 
slaveholding Presbyteries of Missouri and Arkansas (the latter 
included in the Synod of Missouri) could each appoint a Director 
(See Appendix T) ; and he used his influence (happily in vain) 
to have the Seminary located at Galesburg, and to bestow upon 
it valuable land originally set apart by the antislavery founders 
of Knox College for theological purposes. And now, to make 
the apostacy from the original design of the college still more 
evident, the recent "Inaugural Address" of Pres. Curtis contains 
a page and a half of sophistical reasoning to prove that teachers 
in colleges, as such, should not meddle with controverted 


questions of reform ! (See Appendix U). But to return to the 
subject of funds : 

(5 .) The college received timely aid in the day of its distress, 
from the " Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and Theo- 
logical Education at the West," amounting in all, according to 
the books of the college treasurer, to $3,472.23.* The So- 
ciety is a union of Presbyterians and Congregationalists, and 
the only way to ascertain the denominational source of the 
money given is, to examine the annual reports of the treasurer, 
and trace the separate donations to their donors, which is easily 
done. Such a scrutiny shows, that less than one-quarter of 
the income of the Society \vas derived from the Presbyterians, 
and justifies the following division of the appropriations to 
Knox College, according to the general proportion of all the 
donations : 

From Congregational sources, - - - $2,604.18 
From Presbyterian sources, - - - - - 868.05 

Total, $3,472.23 

The Committee may surely be pardoned for suggesting, in 
this connection, that if union institutions aided by a union So- 
ciety, three-fourths of whose income is derived from Congre- 
gational sources, are to be perverted to sectarian ownership and 
use, after attaining to a self-supporting position, it will become 
a matter of simple necessity and self-respect for Eastern Con- 
gregationalists to withdraw from the Society referred to, to 
cease to act upon the co-operative plan in this matter, and to 

There is an apparent discrepancy with regard to the amount paid to 
the college by the Society. A letter from the Secretary, Rev. Theron Bald- 
win, says, " The college was aided by the Society from 1846 to 1855, and 
the amount paid to it, in all ways, was $5,864.88." What facts are covered 
by the expression, "in all ways," we do not know. It m~ay be that Mr. 
Baldwin has taken the sums appropriated by the Society to Knox College, 
to be paid if the funds allowed, but which were in fact only paid in part; 
while the college books show the amount actually received in cash. Or 
Mr. Baldwin may have charged to the college all funds collected by it at 
the East, as though they passed through the Society's treasury the money 
being gathered from the Society's field of operations. We have based our 
calculations on the smaller sum. If the figures of Mr. Baldwin are cor- 
rect, the case will stand still worse for the Presbyterians. 


devote their money to the upbuilding of Congregational col- 
leges. The friends of that Society may therefore well desire 
to see the controversy respecting Knox College settled in a 
manner satisfactory to both denominations. 

Recapitulating, now , the items thus ascertained, we find the 
account between Congregationalists and Presbyterians to stand 

Congregationalists. Presbyterians. 

Proceeds of farm lands, - $25,050. 00 $7,400.00 

Large donations of individuals, 40,000.00 nothing. 

College Society, - - - - 2,604.18 868.05 

Total, $67,654.18 $8,268.05 

It thus appears, that where New School Presbyterians have 
contributed one dollar to the support and endowment of Knox 
College, Congregationalists have contributed eight dollars ! If 
the donations of books and of small sums of money collected 
at different times, and the amount paid toward college build- 
ings, could be included and accurately divided between the de- 
nominations, the result would be still more favorable to the 
Congregationalists. If then, a denominational claim is to rest 
upon a pecuniary basis, it is evident that the institution should 
be in the hands of the Congregationalists. It will be ob- 
served, moreover, that while the purchase of land at a rate 
high for that time, undoubtedly secured the founding of the 
college, and has been mentioned above for that reason, yet the 
purchasers in a very few years received back their money and 
more too, in the rapid increase of value of their land thus 
caused, besides possessing scholarships, which alone were equal 
in value to the sum originally paid. (Compare Note 2 of the 
Original Prospectus, for an appeal to this very result, Ap- 
pendix X.) If, therefore, we should base our calculations on 
pure donations made from simple benevolence, the account 
would stand thus: Congregational donations, $42, 604 ; 
Presbyterian donations, $868. In other words, Congrega- 
tionalists have furnished forty-nine dollars to one of the real 
donations ! 


Reviewing the whole ground, which has been carefully tra- 
versed, the Committee are prepared to answer the question, 
To whom should Knox College belong? It was established as 
the common property of Congregationalists and New School 
Presbyterians, and if diverted to either, might properly be 
claimed by the Congregationalists. The original printed plan 
or prospectus of the institution, adopted in Oneida County, N. 
Y., which is in the possession of the Committee, is silent 
respecting the pretended Presbyterian character of the insti- 
tution, and speaks only of broad and liberal designs for the 
educational and religious interests of the West a significant 
fact on which we might rest the entire argument. (See 
the Original Plan as given in Appendix X.) Of even 
greater weight is the parallel fact, that the charter obtained 
from the Legislature of Illinois also refuses to testify in favor 
of this sectarian claim. The word Presbyterian does not occur 
in it, nor is there any denominational allusion. The two vol- 
umes of College Records, down to the date of the present 
controversy, are equally free from all such Presbyterian pre- 
tensions. Surely in these documents, if anywhere, the evidence 
should be found that it was originally designed that the col- 
lege should be distinctively Presbyterian. Their utter silence 
in this respect is alone sufficient to dishonor the claim in 

On the other hand, the labor and self-denial of the members of 
both denominations have joined with their generous contributions 
to bring the college to its present condition of comparative 
strength. Moreover, nothing can be more obvious than that 
the universal understanding, at the East and at the West, has 
been from the beginning, that Knox College was a union insti- 
tution, like Illinois and Beloit Colleges.* How completely 

* Dr. Curtis, in his Inaugural Address, three times asserts that Beloit Col- 
lege has become a Congregational institution, and that it is consequently 
only a fair balance of results that Knox College should become Presbyterian. 
(See Appendix F.) The assertion, though likely to gain credit from his recent 
connection with Beloit College as a Trustee, is without foundation in fact, 
as may be seen from President Chapin's letter, (Appendix V) written in 
reply to one from the Chairman of this Committee. 


this view had possession of the minds of the founders may be 
learned by reading the labored argument of Mr. Gale for the 
establishment of the college, on page 9 of his "History," in 
which he says, (the italicising is by this Committee) : "It 
has been suggested that, at present, one college that at 
Jacksonville is sufficient for the Presbyterian and Congre- 
gational wants of Illinois. ****** Those 
States (New England) have seven colleges for Congregation- 
alists; it has been suggested that one at present will do for 
Illinois." Neither Mr. Gale nor any one else then thought 
that the institution belonged to the Presbyterians alone. It 
asked and received aid of the union College Society, and was 
fed in the hour of its sore need by the common bounty of both 
denominations. Having thus two parents, who have nourished 
and protected it during the feebleness of infancy, why, with 
with the approach of manhood should it disown either, and 
especially the one whose care and love have been so truly ma- 
ternal ? And this would be the more unwise, should it appear, 
that, with all the pecuniary resources now within its control, 
the college must still secure the sympathy of both denomina- 
tions, and especially of the Congregationalists, in order to 
success. Yet such is the case, and the Committee would 
draw particular attention to the facts which they are about to 

But few colleges have a national constituency. Ordinarily 
they are local institutions, and must depend for students upon 
the territory immediately adjacent. As Baptists, Methodists, 
Old School Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and other sects have 
their own colleges in this State, Knox College must depend for 
students almost exclusively on New School Presbyterians and 
Congregationalists. But these denominations are supplied with 
Beloit and Lind University on the North, and Illinois College 
on the South, leaving but a narrow range of counties for Knox 
College, embracing a territory about a hundred miles square, 
of which Galesburgh is the centre . What is the respective 
condition of the denominations on that ground? In 1844, 

when there were no railroads and population was sparse, 
there were, within fifty miles of Galesburg* 1 1 New School 
Presbyterian churches, numbering 658 communicants. Ac- 
cording to the Minutes of the General Assembly for 1858, 
there was, within that same circle of fifty miles radius, but 4 
N. S. Presbyterian churches and 363 members ! though rail- 
roads have been built, the population doubled or trebled, and 
new towns have sprung up as by enchantment. Hence, if 
Knox College is to be shut up for sympathy and support to 
N. S. Presbyterians, and given over for patronage to the Pres- 
bytery of Knox, it will Lave a Christian constituency number- 
ing less than the membership of a single flourishing church ! 
Can the success of such a scheme be otherwise than fatal to 
the college ? 

Now look at the other side. In 1844 Congregationalism, 
convinced that it was the loser by union with Presbytery, be- 
gan to claim its sons and to organize its own distinctive churches. 
Beginning almost from nothing, as regarded outward organiza- 
tion, though not as regarded individual preferences, it now pre- 
sents on the same field three Associations and more than 60 
churches, with over 3000 members! And these churches, in 
the bosom of which the college lies, are to be expelled from the 
partnership, and their sympathy, their prayers, their gifts and 
their children to be turned to other institutions !f Surely our 
Presbyterian brethren must, as a denomination, be beside them- 
selves, or else their ministerial sectarian leaders are permitted 
in the name, but without the knowledge, of the denomination, 
to work unspeakable mischief to the best interests of education 
and religion. From the fanaticism of such leaders we take our 
appeal to the sober sense and candid judgment of the Presby- 
terian laymen, (many of them originally Congregationalists,) 

This is the exact field marked out for the college by Mr. Gale in his 
" History," page 9. (See Appendix I.) 

f The rapid decrease of students since the accession of N. S. Presby- 
terians to power, the number running down from an average ot fifty-five 
for five years previous, to about twenty at present, shows that the process 
of ruin has already begun. 


who, we are persuaded, have no objection to a just union with 
their Congregational brethren in Knox College. We rely upon 
their Christian moderation and charity to correct the evils 
which the fiery zeaFof a few leading minds is rapidly devel- 
oping. Indeed, we are but true to our own principles, when 
we thus throw ourselves upon the judgment of the brotherhood, 
instead of submitting to the dicta of the officials. We are per- 
suaded that they will agree with us, that, however necessary it 
may be that a church or a theological seminary should have a 
distinctive denominational character, there is nothing in the 
nature of a college which forbids the union in its support and 
management of denominations so nearly allied as the two in 
question ; while such a union seems to be imperatively de- 
manded in a new country like this, by the scarcity both of 
funds and students, as also of competent professors that can ill 
be spared from other important pursuits, especially the ministry 
of the gospel. 

IY. The last topic to which the action of the Presbytery 
relates is, the course pursued in this controversy by Rev. Ed. 
Beecher, D. D., whom they denounce with great violence as 
guilty of a base attack upon Dr. Gale, and as having made 
slanderous charges against him; for which alleged sins they 
formally exclude him from their ministerial communion. The 
Committee have made careful inquiry respecting this whole 
subject, consulting the published documents on both sides, 
hearing the defence of Dr. Beecher, and offering equal opportu- 
nity to the Presbytery to sustain their allegations and to defend 
their action. The result to which the Committee have come 
may be expressed in the following particulars : 

1. Dr. Beecher made no personal attack upon Dr. Gale. 
The criticisms which he passed were upon Dr. Gale as a public 
man and not as a private individual. He censured the course 
pursued by Dr. Gale as a Trustee and Professor of Knox Col- 
lege, and in particular as the animating spirit of a revolutionary 
proceeding which was publicly carried into execution. More- 


over, what is termed an attack on Dr. Gale, was more properly 
a defense of the highest interests of the college and community, 
yea, of religion and morality, against the assaults of Dr. Gale 
and his party. 

2. Dr. Beecher had no occasion for first making inquiry 
from Dr. Gaie as to the correctness of his statements, nor for 
waiting for the result of private labors for his repentance. It 
was no case of uncertainty, nor of private and personal difficulty. 
He was an eye and ear witness of the principal things which 
he alleged against Dr. Gale, and knew whereof he affirmed ; 
while the question at issue was of public nature and impor- 
tance, requiring to be met promptly and upon the spot. 

3. Dr. Beecher acted representatively and by request of 
trustees of the college and prominent citizens of Galesburg, 
who knew the importance of laying before the public a state- 
ment of facts and principles from a man of high standing, 
familiar with college affairs there and elsewhere, possessing 
the confidence of both denominations, and known equally at 
the East and at the West. 

4. The spirit displayed by Dr. Beecher in his statements 
and arguments was eminently Christian. His facts, indeed, 
were hard, and told with tremendous power against Dr. Gale 
and the revolutionary faction in the Board of Trust ; but Dr. 
Beecher was not responsible for their existence, nor for their 
effect. His spirit, however, was strikingly appropriate to the 
work providentially assigned. He endeavored to discuss the 
subject boldly, frankly and fully, with a constant reference to 
the law and judgment of God, and by the application of the 
broadest and noblest principles of morality and religion. He 
made no plea for narrow, sectarian interests, but for the best 
good of the college, of the adjacent community, of the two 
interested denominations, and of Christ's cause in general; and 
his proposal was, to have the whole subject referred to a 
mutual arbitration. Indeed such was the high religious tone of 
his address, that the fact was made the subject of depreciating 


allusions by a member of tlie Board of Trust (not a professor of 
religion) who essayed a reply. Whatever severity of reproof 
it contained, was fully justified and imperatively demanded, if 
the facts were as he believed, and knew, and proved them to be. 

5. The course of the Presbytery in making such grave and 
serious charges against a minister of the gospel without full 
and accompanying proof, can in no wise be justified, and is 
unworthy of Christian men. They had no right, because they 
differed in judgment upon a matter of public controversy, in 
which Dr, Beecher and one of their number were on opposing 
sides, to arrogate infallibility and perfection to themselves, and 
to impute sin against knowledge to Dr. Beecher. They had no 
right to rush into print with grave accusations accompanied by 
no proof, (save in a single instance soon to be noticed) the 
effect of which, if believed, (as happily they were not) must be 
to destroy Dr. B's ministerial and Christian reputation. Such 
charges, especially when followed by a virtual bull of excom- 
munication, should have been sustained in the same document 
by the most abundant and indubitable proof. The entire neglect 
of such a course by the Presbytery cannot be too severely 

6. The Presbytery have not disproved one of his statements. 
Indeed they have ventured to specify but a single instance of 
alleged incorrectness. Dr. Beecher stated in his "Address," 
that Dr. Gale had refused to comply with .the expressed judg- 
ment, (not " command," as the Presbytery state. See Appen- 
dix B), of his Presbytery, that he owed a confession to Pres. 
Blanchard and to the church of which at the time they both 
were communicants. The Piesbytery deny that they took such 
action, and assert that they merely advised Mr. Gale to confess, 
if he saw any occasion for so doing ! A marvellous result of a 
two days' investigation truly! But the Presbytery did not 
stultify themselves by so puerile a procedure. They first 
plainly charged guilt upon him, and then expressed the hope 
that he would see the duty of confession to be binding, com- 
mending the promptness with which Pres. Blanchard had 


confessed the respects in which he had been in fault. Their 
exact language was, " Br. Gale has been deficient in duty in not 
unfolding his suspicions in the first place to one (Pres. B.) 
sustaining such intimate relations to him." In other words 
they assert that he violated the very law of Christ which the 
Presbytery in their recent action wish inappropriately to apply 
to Dr. Beecher. They then added a commendation of Prof. 
Blanchard's confession, and said, " We indulge the hope that 
Br. Gale will see it to be his duty to do the same." This was 
stating clearly that they saw it to be his duty to make confession. 
Pres. Blanchard, however, to prevent misapprehension, inquired 
of the Presbyteiy upon the spot, whether they meant that Mr. 
Gale owed a confession to him and to the church, and the mod- 
erator having called the roll, every member answered " Yes" 
This fact is certified by the minister (Mr. Bascorn), who was 
then clerk of the Presbytery. (For a full account see Appen- 
dix W). Thus the Presbytery are condemned and Dr. Beecher 
acquitted by undeniable evidence; and as this, their only 
attempt to sustain their charges against him by a specification, 
utterly fails, they can scarcely hope to gain credit for accuracy 
in other vague assertions, or to shake that confidence in the 
character of Dr. Beecher which the religious public have so 
long cherished. 

7. The action taken in conclusion, by the Presbytery, with 
reference to Dr. Beecher, was most unusual and unjustifiable. 
Even on the supposition that he was mistaken in his repre- 
sentations, what reason was there to doubt the honesty of his 
intention, or what occasion, on their part, for more than a 
counter statement of fact and arguments, and an expression of 
grief that he had become unduly excited over imaginary 
wrong? And yet they proceeded to a public withdrawal "as 
a Presbytery" of ministerial communion ! Of course they had 
no ecclesiastical power to discipline a minister of another de- 
nomination; but they did all they could by a formal and 
official act, to depose him from the ministry, so far as their 
own churches were concerned, and so far as their influence 


might affect their denomination . Did they imagine that the 
antiquated procedure of substituting an ecclesiastical fulmi- 
nation for argument, would avail at the present day ; or did 
they think that their mere assertions would destroy the repu- 
tation of Edward Beecher? 

But their attempt to inflict high ecclesiastical censure on Dr. 
Beecher, is not the less wicked because it is to a great extent 
futile. The spirit manifested is unworthy of a Christian body, 
and the act has scarcely a parallel in ecclesiastical proceed- 
ings. The effect, also, could not fail to be disastrous in embit- 
tering existing controversy, in dividing the religious community 
in that locality, in embarassmg the future President of the col- 
lege should he be a Presbyterian, (as has since proved to be 
the case,) and in incensing the Congregational churches and 
ministers of Illinois, the Moderator of whose General Associa- 
tion, Dr. Beecher at the time was. 

It is but justice to our New School Presbyterian brethren to 
say, that this action of the Presbytery has been condemned by 
not a few of thier best ministers who live at a distance from the 
scene of conflict, and that it would be wrong to charge the folly 
and sin of a small local body,acting in the heat of controversy, 
upon the whole denomination, unless the latter approve the 
act. Whether the Synod of Peoria, (to which the Presby- 
tery is attached and to which its records are sent for review 
and approval,) condemned or endorsed the action of the Presby- 
tery, at the next meeting, your Committee have not- learned. 
Their records will show. 

In the conclusion of this long report, which it has been the 
painful duty of -the undersigned to adopt as the result of the 
investigation ordered by the General Association, the Com- 
mittee would express their regret, that they have been under 
the necessity of controverting the positive statements of Chris- 
tian brethren; but the truth must be told, however unpleasant 
its revelations . Nor is there, perhaps, any better way to unde- 
ceive those brethren who have been so wofully misled by their 
undue confidence in the declarations of Dr . Gale. The Presbv- 


tery do indeed say, in the preface to their published action, 
that " the following paper was unanimously adopted after a 
very careful examination into the correctness of all its state- 
ments;" but it is plain that the Presbytery did not have the 
means of testing the truth of the affirmations made to them by 
Dr . Gale, and that they did not sift intelligently the documen- 
tary evidence which he seemed to present, but were so blinded 
by their confidence in him, or by their party bias, as not to 
perceive that important links were wanting in the chain of 
proof. And with reference to Dr. Gale, whose inaccuracies and 
self-contradictions of statement have come under review, the 
Committee would make all necessary allowance for the effect 
upon memory and belief, of age, disease, the lapse of time, and 
strong personal and party feeling. That he has wrought his 
own mind into a belief of his assertions, and has persuaded his 
Presbytery to adopt the same opinion, the Committee would 
not deny. But in view of the evidence herewith submitted, 
the Committee unanimously declare, that the allegations of 
the Presbytery are in every respect unfounded, and are indeed 
so opposite to the facts, as to threaten to bring great discredit 
upon statements emanating from ecclesiastical bodies; thus 
doing wide-spread injury to the cause of religion. 

The Committee have no specific action to recommend in the 
premises, both because the duty assigned by the General Asso. 
ciation prescribes only an inquiry into the disputed facts and a 
report of the results of the investigation, and because the Com- 
mittee are no more competent than their brethren of the Asso- 
ciation to decide upon the steps which ought to be taken to 
secure the rights which are imperilled. 

It may not be amiss, however, to suggest, that a kind, 
peaceable and most Christian procedure would be, to invite 
the " Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and Theological 
Education at the West" which represents both Congrega- 
tionalists and Presbyterians, and from whose bounty the Col- 
lege drew its support, in part, for about ten years to mediate 


between the parties at issue, and to recommend such arrange- 
ments for the future as will secure harmony and co-operation. 

But whatever course may be pursued, and whatever difficul- 
ties may appear to be in the way of reversing the revolutionary 
policy lately adopted by the majority of the Board of Trust of 
the College, the undersigned, with unshaken faith in the power 
of truth and in the operations of Divine Providence, would 
commit to the General Association, and through them to the 
Christian public, the foregoing statement of indubitable facts. 





1. Resolved, That this Association appoint a committee of 
seven, consisting of Rev. W. W. Patton and C. G. Hammond, 
Esq., of Chicago; Hon. Owen Lovejoy, of Princeton; Rev. 
Wm. Carter, of Pittsfield; Rev: S. H. Emery and Willard 
Keyes, Esq., of Quincy; and Rev. J. Emerson, of Rockford, 
whose duty it shall be to repair to Knox College, in this State, 
to inquire into certain statements put forth by the Presbytery 
of Peoria and Knox, touching the relations of Presbyterians 
and Congregationalists to said Institution, and the difficulties 
which have recently existed in the same, including the action 
of said Presbytery in reference to Dr. Edward Beecher, the 
last Moderator of this Association. 

2. Resolved, That said committee are hereby instructed to 
seek information, first from Trustees and friends of the College 
resident in Galesburg, and secondly from the stated clerk and 
members of the above named Presbytery. 

3. Resolved, That this committee, after the most careful 
and prayerful deliberation, make up and publish in the Congre- 
gational Herald the result of their investigation, for the informa- 
tion of our churches, and also report their doings to this body 
at its next meeting. 

4. Resolved, That this Committee are further instructed to 
invite the Rev. Albert Barnes, of Philadelphia, and Rev. Pres- 
ident Hopkins, of Williams College, or two such other judi- 
cious men as the committee may select, to meet and sit with 


them as members of the council in full ; and that said com- 
mittee have power to invite the several evangelical churches in 
Galesburg to appoint one member each to sit as advisory 



At a meeting of the Presbytery of Peoria and Knox, held 
in Galesburg, commencing on the 10th day of September, 
1857, the following paper was unanimously adopted, after a 
very careful examination into the correctness of all its state- 

The Presbytery of Peoria and Knox, feeling a deep interest 
in all our institutions of learning, because of their controlling 
influence in society, regard with great anxiety the present 
condition of Knox College. The attempt which has been 
made of late to control the Board of Trust, to whom the man- 
agement of the affairs of the college belongs, by persons who 
have no connection with that Board, and who have no right 
on any ground whatever to prescribe definite action to the 
Board, is one involving so many dangers to any college against 
which such attempts shall be made, that we cannot avoid ex- 
pressing our unqualified condemnation of it. Our institutions 
of learning will be on the verge of ruin when they shall be 
controlled by the prejudices and passions of the multitude, 
excited and guided by selfish and designing men, rather than 
by those who are legally constituted their guardians and 

The charge has been publicly made and zealously circulated 
that the Presbyterian body are aiming to secure the entire 
control of Knox College, in order to make it a sectarian insti- 
tution. Such a charge, we do not hesitate to say, is wholly 
unfounded. Of those members of the Board of Trust who are 
connected with our branch of the Church of Christ, all but two 
are members of churches under the care of this Presbytery. 
This Presbytery encloses within its bounds almost the whole 
of the Presbyterian influence which is capable of attempting 
through the Board to control the college. Any attempt to 
exercise such control must be made by the ministers and 
members of churches connected with this body. We there- 
fore speak from our own knowledge, when we deny the cor- 
rectness of the above charge. 


While it is tkus true that no design exists among the 
Presbyterian -body to make this college a sectarian institution, 
it is also true that no other denomination can rightfully claim 
the control of this college, and that no other denomination is 
entitled to so large a representation in the Board of Trust as 
our own. We have in our possession and subject to our con- 
trol incontestible evidence of the following facts, viz : That the 
idea of founding Knox College originated among Presbyterians 
that it was successfully carried into execution by them that 
almost the whole amount of property, by means of which the 
college has been carried on successfully for twenty years, 
and which now constitutes its large endowment, was given by 
them that it was for more than ten years after its foundation 
under their entire control and that its founders desired and 
expected that the Presbyterian body should have a larger share 
in the control of the institution than any other body. 

The Presbytery has noticed with great grief the violent 
personal assaults which have been made by the Rev. Edward 
Beecher in the public papers, and also in public addresses, upon 
the Rev. Geo. W. Gale, who is a member of this body. We 
regard the assault, in manner and in spirit, as an open violation 
of the law of Christ as to the treatment of Christian brethren. 
Whatever may have been his own opinion concerning the cor- 
rectness of the charges he has made, it is certain that he has 
not pursued the course prescribed in the New Testament 
towards his erring brother. In view of the fact that these 
very grave charges have been brought against Mr. Gale without 
any inquiry from him as to their correctness, or any effort to 
lead him to a proper acknowledgment of them if correct, and 
that very extraordinary efforts have been made to extend the 
knowledge of them far and wide over our whole land, we are 
compelled to say that until the Rev. Edward Beecher shall 
undo the wrong he has committed in this matter, we must as 
a Presbytery regard him as unworthy of our confidence and 
Christian courtesy as a minister of the gospel. 

We have long known the Rev. G. W. Gale, and we are only 
doing justice to our own feelings, as well as to his character, 
when we say that we have not even a suspicion that the 
accusations above referred to are true in any sense injurious to 
his character as a Christian. We know and love him as a 
brother, a sincere Christian and a faithful promoter of all the 
interests of education and religion in our midst. 


Among the unfounded charges injurious to the character of 
this whole body as well as to Mr. Gale, which have been pub- 
lished to the world by the Rev. Edward Beecher, one is to the 
effect that this Presbytery did several years ago enjoin upon 
Mr. Gale the duty of making certain confessions, and that he 
has refused obedience to this command, without receiving from 
us any rebuke therefor. How far from correct this charge is, 
appears from the following facts. At a meeting of the Pres- 
bytery in the year 1851, the Rev. J. Blanchard, not being a 
member of the body, asked permission to be heard concerning 
alleged difficulties between himself and Mr. Gale. The Pres- 
bytery held three interlocutory, that is informal meetings, in- 
order to hear both parties. After a long and patient hearing, 
and in view of the fact that Mr. Blanchard had as he stated, 
already made confession of wrong-doing in the matter, the 
members at that meeting advised Mr. Gale to examine care- 
fully his conduct in the affair under consideration, and, if his 
conscience led him to feel that any confessions were due from 
him, to freely offer them . This action was taken at an in- 
formal meeting, and was only advisory. Mr. Gale followed 
fully the advice thus given, making such confessions as he 
thought were due from him. 

These matters we have been compelled to refer to in the 
manner we have, as an act of justice to one of our members, 
and to correct in the public mind impressions which have been 
laboriously made, false and injurious to the character of this 

We extend to our brother Gale, our sympathy, and our 
assurance of our undiminished confidence in him as a man and 
a Christian in the midst of these fierce attacks that are made 
upon him. 



CHICAGO, ILL., Sept. 9, 1858. 

Rev. : Dear Sir; As Chairman of the Committee, 

appointed by the Illinois General Association, to investigate 
the relation of Congregalionalists to Knox College, (which 
Committee is to meet at Galesburg, on the 28th inst., at 9 


o'clock, A. M., in the Lecture Room of the First Church), I 
would invite you to be present at its sessions, and to commu- 
nicate orally, or by documents, or by witnesses, any informa- 
tion within your power, bearing upon the subject in question. 
Yours Truly, 


CHICAGO, ILL., Oct. 5, 1858. 

Rev. Dr. GALE: Dear Sir: The Committee of the Gene- 
ral Association of Illinois were sorry not to have seen you at 
their meeting in Galesburg, last week, as they were very 
desirous to obtain such information respecting Knox College, 
as, from your early and long connection with it, you might be 
able to impart. As, however, the Committee will not make 
their report for some time, and are to have another meeting 
towards the close of this month, in this city, we shall be 
pleased to receive from you, or Dr. Curtis, or the stated Clerk 
of the Presbytery of Peoria and Knox, any communications 
or documents on the points in controversy before the Com- 
mittee, which may be forwarded to me prior to the' 20th inst. 
Please communicate this to the other brethren named. 

In behalf of the Committee. 

WM. W. PATTON, Chairman. 


CHICAGO, 19 Oct., 1858. 

Rev. W. W. PATTON: Dear Sir: Some time ago I re- 
ceived a note from you, requesting me to meet a Committee, 
which, you informed me, had been appointed by the General 
Association of Illinois, to investigate the relations of Congre- 
gationalists to Knox College, and to come with witnesses or 
documents, or to state orally what I knew about the matter. 
My not appearing before the Committee agreeably to the 
invitation, I wish to say, was not owing to any disrespect to 
yourself, or the other gentlemen from abroad, who acted with 
you at the meeting. My reasons for not obeying the sum- 
mons were 

1st. I saw no necessity for the appointment of such a 
Committee. Most of the members of the Association knew 
how our Board of Trust and of Instruction stand, or could 


easily have known without any such formality. [But there 
was a wide spread controversy between two denominations as 
to their respective rights in the College, and it was important 
that the facts should be officially ascertained and published. 

2d. If the relation to be investigated was that of any 
right to, or claim upon the College, I would remark, I am not 
aware that the General Association, or any other Association 
in Illinois, or anywhere else, had anything to do with the 
founding or endowing of Knox College, either by their coun- 
sels or the contributions of funds. If they have, the facts 
must be known to them. [We do not know that any Pres- 
bytery, as such, had to do with founding or endowing Knox 
College, yet the Presbytery of Peoria and Knox, of which 
Dr. Gale is the leading member, took very decided and public 
action on the subject, in support of Presbyterian claims. 
Eight months afterwards, the General Association of Illinois, 
as the natural representative of the Congregationalists, ap- 
pointed a committee to enquire whether the assertions of the 
Presbytery in denial of all Congregational claims, were correct. 
Was this improper? COM.] 

3d. The papers and documents relating to the history of the 
college, with but few exceptions, are in the keeping of the 
Secretary of the Board of Trust, who would not be willing to 
exhibit them to any such Committee without an order of the 
Board to do so. Should any gentleman request the favor of 
looking into those papers and records for his private satisfac- 
tion, I have no doubt that he would readily grant it. The 
Board of Trustees are the only organ to which communications 
relating to claims upon the college should be addressed, and 
that for the most obvious reasons they are by law, as well as 
by custom, its proper guardians, and they only have the power 
to adjust claims. It could not reasonably be expected, that I 
should take part in any measures relating to the affairs of the 
Board, as an individual, unless appointed by them to do it. 
[And yet Dr. Gale has taken a most active part in the public 
newspaper discussions of these very affairs, and has made use 
therein of these same documents which the Committee desired 
to see. Could not the Board trust the "founder" of the 
college and their principal advocate, to show these papers to 
us? Besides, it would seem that the Presbytery of Peoria and 
Knox, were allowed to see them, without a vote of the Board. 
Moreover, that Presbytery affirm that they can control these 


documents ; for they say, " We Lave in our possession and 
subject to our control, incontestible evidence," &c. Thereupon 
we invite and urge Dr. Gale, the leading member, and Mr. 
Bailey, the stated Clerk, to show us this " incontestible evi- 
dence ;" when we are told that it belongs to the Board of 
Trust and cannot be exhibited without their permission ! COM.] 

4th. A Court of Enquiry could not expect testimony to be 
offered from an opposite side, when the Court itself is consti- 
tuted wholly by a party in the controversy; nor ought they to 
expect that a judgment rendered by them would have much 
weight with an impartial public. [The Committee are no 
"Court" and have no "judgment" to render, other than a 
statement of ascertained facts. Dr. Gale well knows that the 
Congregationalists have often proposed a mutual arbitration 
of this matter, and have always been refused, and that he, in 
particular, has invariably and earnestly resisted such a refer- 
ence. He knows, also, that the Rev. Albert Baines of his own 
denomination was placed upon this Committee. Mr. B. was 
urged by the Chairman to attend, but was prevented by ill 
health. Furthermore, the N. S. Presbyterian church in Gales- 
burg was invited, with all the other evangelical churches of 
that city, to send an advisory member of the Committee, but 
it neglected to do so. And surely Dr. Gale might have aided 
in our investigation, if only to take away from us all excuse 
of ignorance. COM.] 

.5th. I am of the opinion that no good can result from the 
functions of such a Committee to anybody. The position of 
things could not be altered by them. Their obvious tendency 
is, to do harm by fanning coals of strife, which ought never to 
have been kindled, and which the people in the vicinity of the 
college, both for the interests of the college and the peace of 
comrflunity there, do not wish should be rekindled. [The good 
which will result from the action of the Committee may be 
more apparent hereafter. It always assists in ending a contro- 
versy to ascertain facts. Discussion elicits truth, and truth, 
once elicited, takes care of itself and of us too. As to the 
wishes of " the people in the vicinity of the college," it is noto- 
rious that they have desired this investigation, which fact was 
made abundantly evident during the sessions of the Committee 
at Galesburg. COM.] 

I have received a second letter from you, repeating the 
request for me to send communications to a meeting of the 
Committee to be held in Chicago, and to present your request 


to the Clerk of Presbytery. I have done so. I have nothing 
more at present to communicate. Respectfully yours, 




The Committee, by appointment of the Chairman, met, 
Tuesday, at 10 o'clock, A. M., Sept. 28th, 1858, at the Lec- 
ture Room of the " First Church of Christ," in Galesburg, 
111. Rev. Wm. "W. Patton and Brother Charles G. Hammond, 
of Chicago, Rev. S. H . Emery and Brother Willard Keyes, of 
Quincy, a majority of the Committee, were present. Rev. S. 
H. Emery was appointed Secretary. The exercises were 
opened with prayer by the Chairman. The action of the 
General Association of Illinois appointing the Committee, was 
read ; also a copy of a letter addressed by the Chairman to 
Rev. Messrs. Gale, Curtis, Beecher and Blanchard, requesting 
their presence and assistance. 

The Chairman stated that he had corresponded with Rev. 
Drs. Hopkins and Barnes, who were invited by the General 
Association to sit with the Committee as members in full, but 
they were both unable to accept the invitation ; and that the 
Chairman had not felt authorized to substitute other persons-. 
He also called for delegates from the evangelical churches 
in Galesburg which were invited by the General Association to 
send advisory members ; whereupon, Bro. Eli Farnham appeared 
as delegate from the " First Church of Christ," and Bro. Julius 
DeLong from the " First Congregational Church," and^ took 
seats with the Committee. 

On motion, Resolved, That the friends of Knox College of 
every name, and particularly our Presbyterian brethren, be 
most cordially invited to ba present and take part in the inves- 
tigations of the Committee, to the end that the truth may be 
elicited, and, if possible, harmony of views be secured; and 
that the congregation here present be requested to make known 
the desire of the Committee herein expressed, as widely as 

Voted, That the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Peoria 
and Knox, the Rev. J. W. Bailey, be notified of this meeting 
and be requested to be present and furnish the Committee 


with any documents or facts in his possession on the subject 
matter before 1184 

The Chairman thereupon immediately despatched a note to 
the above effect to Mr. Bailey, who resides in Galesburg. 

The subject of filling the vacancies on the Committee occa- 
sioned by the non-acceptance of Rev. Drs. Barnes and Hop- 
kins, was taken up and discussed for some time, when, on mo- 
tion, the public exercises were adjourned until half past one 
o'clock P. M. 

The Committee being by themselves, it was agreed, that as 
no men were at hand who sustained the same relation to all 
the parties in the controversy, as Drs. Barnes and Hopkins, it 
was not advisable to attempt to fill the vacancies. An order 
of investigation and business was also arranged to be pursued 
in the public meeting. 

1^- o'clock P. M. The Committee met and the exercises 
were opened with prayer by Rev. S. H. Emery, The Chair- 
man stated that in their investigation the Committee would 
pursue the order of subjects found in the action of the Pres- 
bytery of Peoria and Knox, taken at its meeting in Galesburg, 
Sept. 10th, 1858, and published by its direction in the secular 
and religious papers. The messenger reported that he bad 
delivered the note of invitation into the hands of Mr. Bailey, 
and that no reply was sent back. 

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in listening to 
arguments by Rev. J. Bianchard, Ex-President of Knox Col- 
lege, against the positions of the Presbytery, and in examining 
witnesses upon the various points raised, among whom were Rev. 
Messrs. Bianchard, E. Beecher and L. H. Parker, and Messrs. 
Colton, Simmons, Tompkins, Henry Ferris and De Long. 

Various printed and written documents were also placed in 
the hands of the Committee, among which were certified copies 
of the plot of the farm lauds which had I een sold by the Col- 
lege, and of the records of the county, showing to whom such 
lands had been deeded by the College. Adjourned till 7 
o'clock P. M. 

7 o'clock P. M. The session was opened with prayer by the 
Chairman. The meeting was held in the church to accommo- 
date the great number in attendance, and the edifice was filled 
by a large and deeply interested congregation representing all 
parties. The investigation was resumed, and Pres. Bianchard 
heard still further, and the following witnesses examined, viz.: 
Rev L. H. Parker, and Dr. E. Beecher, and Messrs H. Ferris, 


W. Ferris, E. Farnham, and Paine. Additional printed and 
written documents -were introduced. 

The Chairman and other members of the Committee repeat- 
edly called upon those present to bear any testimony, make 
any statement, or offer any suggestion relevant to any of the 
topics that had been brought forward. 

Rev. Edward Beecher, D.D., was then heard in defence of 
himself against the charges made in the official paper of the 
Presbytery, vindicating his motives and conduct in the part 
which he had taken in the controversy respecting the college. 

At a late hour, after the Chairman had made a final call for 
further evidence or suggestions from any quarter, the Commit- 
tee adjourned to meet in Chicago, at the call of the Chairman, 
at some time during the sessions of the Triennial Convention, 
to meet Oct. 20th. 

Oct. 21, 1858. The Committee met in Chicago at 9 o'clock 
A.M., and spent an hour in an interchange of views and in 
tearing the first part of the report which had been drawn up 
by the Chairman. Adjourned till to-morrow morning at 9 

Oct. 22, 9 o'clock A.M. The Committee met and the 
session was opened with prayer by the Chairman. The consid- 
eration of the report was resumed, which was very carefully 
read and considered, paragraph by p ragraph, with the evi- 
dence sustaining each position. After the unanimous adoption 
of the report, the Chairman was directed to prepare a copious 
Appendix, containir.g the evidence upon which the report was 
based, said Appendix to be submitted to the Committee for 
approval at a future meeting. 

April 25, 1859. The Committee met at the call of the 
Chairman, in Chicago, and heard the Appendix, which was 
approved. Adjourned till meeting of General Association, at 

May 27, 1859. The Committee met at Bloomington, 111., 
for- a final consideration of the Report and Appendix, which 
were unanimously approved and ordered to be laid before the 
General Association. 

WM. W. PATTON, Chairman. 
S. H. EMERY, Secretary 

Attest, i 




The undersigned, members of the Board of Trust of Knox v 
College, hereby certify that at the annual meeting of the Trus- 
tees of the College in June, 1 849, upon a motion being decided 
contrary to the views of those who were hostile to President 
Blanchard, the Rev. G. W. Gale arose and said : " Those who 
voted in the negative, in the last vote, will leave the room." 
He then went out followed by eight other Trustees. This 
was before the degrees were conferred, or the other ordinary 
annual business of the College done. Their object was, by 
leaving the Board without a quorum, to stop all business and 
compel the majority to submit to them . 

At a meeting of the Board in 18^7 the same thing was 
repeated by the same party, except that at this time they re- 
fused to go into the legal meeting with their associates. On 
this occasion, O. H. Browning, Esq., of Quincy, who has been 
prominent in consummating their sectarian plans, said, " Call 
it 'ruin' or what you will, we have made up our minds never 
to go into another meeting, till we have first ascertained that 
we are a majority !" 

We also certify that at the annual meeting of the Board of 
Knox College in 1854, the friends of President Blanchard 
being then and there in the majority, and a motion being 
made to elect a trustee to fill the vacancy made by the removal 
from the State of Hon. Peter Butler, 0. H. Browning. Esq., 
to prevent such election, moved to lay it on the table, but 
accepted as an amendment, a compromise resolution binding 
the Board in all future elections to abstain from any party 
action; which resolution was unanimously adopted by the 
Board and the election at that time dropped. But as soon as 
the said Browning and those acting with him had obtained an 
accidental majority, they denied the force of the said resolu- 
tion, and did not hesitate to violate it by the election of men 
to the Board by a strictly party vote. 

We further testify that some of their number did say, that 
the Professorship vacated by the resignation of Dr. Gale, ought 
of right to be filled by a Congregationalist, and that they 
would go for it, which promise they also violated. 

We also testify, that we repeatedly urged upon them to refer 



the whole college difficulty to impartial arbitration, which they 
constantly refused to do. 

We also further testify, that we proposed to them that we 
would vote for a non- sectarian President, such as Rev. Asa D. 
Smith, D. D., of New York city, independent of all other 
issues in connection with said vote, which proposition they 
refused to accept. 




With the exception of the first foct stated, which occurred 
before we were members of the Board; we certify to the 

Signed, F. BASCOM, ) T t 



As there has been an attempt to deny the passage of the 
compromise resolution mentioned above, and to affirm that it 
was laid on the table, because the Secretary of the Board, 
Prof. Los^y, has recorded it somewhat blindly in the Records, 
we would remark that the proof of its passage is abundant. 
1 We have above the explicit testimony of those who were 
present, and who took part in the action, and who have special 
reason to remember it, because it changed all their previous 
plans and led them to foibear to use their power as a then 
majority. 2 We have a similar and minute testimony from 
personal knowledge, by Rev. Horatio Foote, of Quincy, 111., 
also a Trustee, in a letter published in the Galesburg Demo- 
crat, Sept. 23, 1857, in which he states reasons for retaining 
a specially vivid remembrance of the action then taken, as 
related to Prof. Gale's previous course. 3 We have the cor- 
roborative fact that the expected election of a Trustee was 
postponed, which, in the circumstances must have been occa- 
sioned by such an agreement. 4 Prof Losey, the Secretary, 
affirms that he meant to record the resolution as having passed. 
(See Losey's letter in Galesburg Democrat, Sept. 23, 1857.] 
5 He has discovered and published his original minute made 
on the spot, which reads thus: "Moved by Mr, Colton, That 


we proceed to an election of a Trustee in the place of the Hon. 
P. Butler, removed out of the State. After some discussion 
upon the motion, it was moved by Hon. 0. H. Browning that 
the question of election be laid upon the table, which motion 
was finally carried after being amended by inserting the pre- 
amble and resolution offered by the Rev. F. Bascom at the last 
meeting of the Board, in words following, to wit: [Here the 
compromise resolution was to be copied in] the mover accept- 
ing the proposed amendment." 

Thus it will be seen, that it was the motion to proceed to an 
election that was laid on the table, while the compromise reso- 
lution, accepted by Mr. Browning as an amendment of his own, 
was passed. Very properly does Prof. Losey, (in a second 
letter to the Galesburq Free Democrat, in which, however, he 
seems somewhat confused as to the effect of the motion adopt- 
ed) say, that " the record shows that the resolution was passed 
without a negative vote, and it has been a matter of amaze- 
ment to me that any one should seriously question its final 



"It was not designed to be sectarian. And yet it was 
expected that as a matter of course, the prevailing type of 
Christian sentiment here would be a Calvinistic faith, acting in 
and through Presbyterian organizations. This was the faith 
of those who originated the enterprise. This was the character 
of their first organization. And for many years no other 
organization was proposed or seriously considered. And yet it 
was not a sectarian movement. A Chiistian man must not 
only believe in Christianity in general, but he must believe 
something in particular. And his faith on those points which 
constitute the distinctive characteristics of particular denomin- 
ations, will define his denominational character. Not to have 
a creed, and a well-defined, distinctive religious character, indi- 
cates not liberality, as some suppose, but religious indifference 
rather, or a vacillating mind that has no fixed opinions, or a lack 
of honest frankness, as though the man were ashamed or afraid 
to avow what he does believe, and intended by concealment to 
cheat somebody. Any Christian man who is fit to be a public 


teacher, will have firmly-established and well-defined religious 
sentiments; and it is exceedingly important that in each pub- 
lic institution there should be a general harmony of sentiment. 
This will not beget an intense denominationalism. It will pre- 
vent it, rather, by removing the elements and occasions of 
jealousy and strife, by which sectarianism is nourished. Gir- 
ard's idea of making his institution religious without being 
sectarian, simply by prohibiting clergymen to enter its gates, 
was both silly and absurd: as though laymen could not be 
sectarian ; and as though all clergymen 'were so necessarily. 
The founders of Knox College designed it to be a Presbyterian 
institution; not Presbyterian as opposed to other denomina- 
tions; not as a propagandist agency; but as Beloit is Congre- 
gational and liberal, just so they expected this to be a 
co-ordinate instrumentality, jointly with others, to diffuse 
knowledge and to promote morality and religion in this young 
but prospectively rich and glorious country. It was planned in 
the most liberal spirit of union and co-operation. It was 
commenced and carried forward by Presbyterians, before the 
lamentable division of 1837 and 1838; while old and new 
school men were united in one organization, and had a com- 
mon interest in all the institutions established by both parties. 
It was commenced and carried forward during the palmy period 
of co-operation, when Congregationalisms worked harmoniously 
with Presbyterians in the work of education and missions, 
home and foreign. We were all full of love and union then; 
" neither said any one that aught of the things which he pos- 
sessed was his own, but they had all things common." It was 
assumed that there was a common faith among us, and that 
there were common interests, which did not need to be specially 
guarded by articles of copartnership, and specifications of 
proprietorship, and of separate rights. These institutions were 
designed specially for Presbyterians and Congregationalists; 
but not for them, even, exclusively. 

Brown University, and Yale, and Hamilton, and Nassau 
Hall Colleges, are each denominational, yet not exclusive; 
have each their predominant type of religious sentiment, and 
are each under the leading supervision of some one denomina- 
tion, and yet are not sectarian or propagandist in any such 
wise that a parent in New York would fear to send his son to 
any one of them. So here at the West we have Shurtleff, and 
McKendree, and Marengo, and Beloit, which have each a 
decided denominational supervision. And yet I think I may 


assume of them all what I know of one, that neither of them is 
in any odious sense a sectarian college. I would rather 
a thousand fold send a son to such an institution, whose 
character was undisputed and well known, than to a half-and- 
half college, where there is a balancing of power, and a constant 
strife for pre-eminence; and where jealousy and party spirit, 
and suspicion, and hatred, are the natural products of such an 
unnatural state. If the denominational spirit and party feeling 
among old and new school Presbyterians, and Congregational- 
ists, could have been so held in check that no alienations and 
divisions in other matters had occurred, then might our educa- 
tional institutions have gone on, as some of them commenced, 
without ever raising the question of denominational influence, 
and right of ownership and control. But in the inscrutable 
providence of GOD, and through the imperfection of men, such 
a happy union was not permitted to continue. And we have 
now to adjust matters as well as we can to the present actual 
condition of things. Three colleges have been built up in this 
State (for Beloit, standing- on the line, belongs to Illinois as 
much as to Wisconsin), by the united counsels and funds of 
New School Presbyterians and Congregational ists. Jackson- 
ville is trying to balance itself on the pivot of neutrality. But 
every breath of wind threatens the equipoise. Beloit is 
strongly Congregational. Is it too much to claim that Knox 
College, with its indubitable parentage, with its well-known 
early history, and its appropriate and significant name, shall be 
permitted to be held and worked mainly by those whom that 
name befits, and who sympathize most nearly with its 
founders ? 

I have dwelt the more at length on this point, because it 
has been the theme of earnest discussion in this community, 
and the occasion of serious diversity of opinion, and of some 
asperity of feeling. It ought not to be impracticable for high- 
minded Christian men so to arrange our institutions of learning 
that the proprietary rights of all .parties in interest shall be 
equitably regarded ; the full power of each denomination which 
has been associated brought into exercise and left free to devel- 
op itself; and only a generous, sanctified rivalry remain from 
these previous strifes; each corporation striving to make its 
own nursling the best institution in the State. 




REV. L. H. PARKER, of Galesburg, testified before the Com- 
mittee as follows : 

"Last spring I was at Geneseo in my capacity as Trustee of 
the Academy in that place. There were propositions under 
consideration with reference to its coming under the distinctive 
control of N. S. Presbyterians. I met there, Rev. Mr. Spen- 
cer, (N. S. Presbyterian minister, now resident in Chicago,) 
who said that it was now the design and settled policy of his 
denomination to bring all the schools, academies and colleges 
in which they were interested under their distinctive ecclesias- 
tical control. In accomplishing this, Knox College, he re- 
marked, had given them more trouble than any other insti- 

REV. DR. EDWARD BEECHER testified as follows : 

" Before the election of Dr. Curtis to the Presidency, I had 
an interview with Rev. Dr. Patterson, of Chicago, to see 
whether some investigation of facts, or reference to arbitrators, 
or basis of adjustment could not be secured prior to any elec- 
tion by the Board of Trust. But such an effort at an accom- 
modation of differences was wholly objected to and refused, 
both by Dr. P. and by Dr. Gale. Dr. P. asserted that the college 
belonged to the N. S. Presbyterians, and that they ought to 
have the entire control of it." 

REV. J. BLANCHARD testified as follows: 

" Before Rev. Dr. Curtis entered on his duties as President of 
Knox College, I had a correspondence with him, in which I 
urged the importance of an investigation of the origin and en- 
dowment of the College. In his reply and in subsequent con- 
versation he insisted that the Congregationalists had done a 
groat wrong to the N. S. Presbyterians in the affairs of the 
college, which he meant to redress; and he asserted that it was 
on the ground of securing the rights of Presbyterians to the 
college that at the urgent solicitation of members of the Gen- 
eral Assembly he had accepted the office of President." 




Great use has been made by Dr. Gale and the N. S. Pres- 
byterians, of what is called " the original subscription" for 
establishing the town and college, obtained in the State of 
New York prior to any purchase of land. Dr, Gale has stated, 
( G-alesburg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857,) that $28,200 were 
subscribed, of which $25,800 were by Presbyterians and $2,400 
by Congregationalists. This statement has been also circulated 
in printed letter form, producing the impression that this 
money, in this denominational proportion, was actually paid 
in by those subscribers, and established the college. Now, 
as a matter of fact, whatever money came from the original 
subscribers, forms a very small part of the funds of the college, 
while the original subscription, as such, fell through and was 
never collected, though the organization continued, and some 
of the same men became purchasers and settlers. The proof 
of this is abundant. 

1. The original subscription book,* of which the Committee 
have a certified copy, through the kindness of Prof. Losey, 
throws much light on this subject. The book contains several 
classes of subscribers. Class L, amounting to $20,100, (omit- 
ting one name James Barton, $800 which occurs twice in 
the subscription, apparently by mistake, and belongs properly 
under the next class, ) were those who were to pay down the 
cash with which the land was to be entered, and afterwards to 
take the amount in land. Class II., amounting to $8,300, 
were persons who agreed "to go as soon as they could sell" 
their present farms, but, as will appear, never went. Class 
III ., nominally amounting to $6,200, appears to be a mere 
memorandum of persons who, "to encourage the object," 
expressed a willingness to take land after the purchase was 
made and deeds could be given. Class IV., amounting to 
$60, was a small conditional subscription for incidental ex- 
penses. The real subscribers, therefore, who were to initiate 
and carry out the plan, were those in Class I . Not one of 
their subscriptions is marked as paid! 

* There is reason to doubt whether "memorandum book" would not 
better express the truth, since the use of initials instead of the last name, 
and the omission of first names altogether in some cases, suggest that 
there was no binding subscription made by the individuals named. 


2. If the original subscription was paid, tlie money has 
never been accounted for to the Trustees of the College. The 
accounts are satisfactory and square with the facts, without 
this sum ; but if this amount be added to the money obtained 
by loan and otherwise, there is a large deficit for which some- 
body is responsible. 

3. It may be gathered from Dr. Gale's own statements, that 
the original subscription was not, as such, enforced and col- 
lected. In his historical letter to the Galesburg J Democrat, 
Aug. 19, 1857, he says, that when the first exploring com- 
mittee failed to fix upon a location, and a second one was ap- 
pointed and was about to go West to make the purchase, " the 
prudential committee did not feel authorized to call upon all 
the subscribers for funds, it being uncertain whether a suitable 
place to purchase, could be found. The *um of eight thousand 
dollars was voluntarily advanced by a number of subscribers, 
&c., * * * Tins sum being entirely inadequate to the 
object in view, Mr. Sylvanus Ferris and myself gave a note 
of ten thousand dollars payable to the Bank of Utica, &c." 
Thus it appears that the original plan of raising cash 
subscriptions, with which to make the purchase, could not be 
carried out, and was abandoned. Part of those who had sub- 
scribed then advanced $8,000, while $10,000 more was bor- 
rowed at the Bank, and thus the purchase was made, the bor- 
rowed money to be refunded from the subsequent sales of land 
to colonists. 

A similar confession is contained in Dr. Gale's letter to the 
Congregational Herald, July 29, 1858, in which, however, 
with a somewhat characteristic self-contradiction, he makes the 
entire amount raised for the purchase (including the $10,000 
borrowed at Bank) to have been only about $15,000 instead 
of $18,000, and gives a different reason for not pushing through 
the original subscription. He says, "the little time allowed "to 
raise the funds rendered it impossible to call on many of the 
subscribers, or for them to raise the money on so short notice. 
What was raised was obtained mostly through loans by the 
subscribers who were near at hand, and who generously came 
forward and paid the whole of their subscriptions." 

As yet a third and earlier account by Dr. Gale, differing 
still more widely as to the money advanced by subscri- 
bers, making it only $600 or $700, see his "History" o, 
the college, p. 7, in which he says, "They contributed six tc 
seven hundred dollars in money, negotiated a loan of tei 


thousand dollars at the Bank of Michigan, and chose a pur- 
chasing committee, &c., &c ."* What reliance can be placed 
on the statement of one whose memory is so treacherous and 
whose assertions are mutually destructive ? 

And here may be introduced the testimony given before the 
Committee by Mr. Eli Faruham, as follows: ''Several years 
ago Mr. Gale lold me that the original subscription was given 
up, which he much regretted on account of the poor young 
men who might have been aided by the funds." 

3. A comparison of the names attached to the original sub- 
scription, with the names of those who actually bought and 
paid for form lands, and founded the college, will demonstrate 
beyond cavil the same fact, showing that many who, when the 
subscription was made, thought of embarking in the enter- 
prise, afterwards declined to do so. Indeed, Mr. Gale says, in 
his History of the Church, ("Manual," page 13) "By some it 
was thought best to form a church of the proposed emigrants, 
and select a paster before leaving New York. It was, how- 
ever, on further consideration, thought best to omit it, until 
they should arrive at their new homes in the West. It was 
well that this prevailed, as a considerable number of the fam- 
ilies found themselves unable to remove" Of course, then, 
they purchased no farms and their subscriptions were never 
paid. Yet they constituted more than three-quarters of the 
original association! The names of the original subscribers, 
Classes I and II, were as follows, of whom only those printed 
in small capitals actually purchased and paid for land at 

Actual purchasers. G. W. GALE, $1000; H. H. KELLOGG, 
$1000; JOHN WATERS, $1000; MR. McMuLLEN, $400; NE- 
$800; S. FERRIS, $400; GURDON GRANT, $400; H. T. AVE- 
RT (for family,) $800. Total, $6,600. 

Failed to purchase. T. B. Jervis, $1000; Thos. Gilbert, 
$400; Sylvester Bliss, $500: Samuel Bona, $400; Nathaniel 
Curtis, $500; Walter Webb, $400; Barnabas Norton, $400; 
J. C. Smith, $400; Samuel Peck, $400; P. Camp, $400; 
Geo. Stedman, $400; S. W. Stuart, $400; Roland Sears, 

#^The discrepancy here is so great, as to suggest a typographical 
error: and if the sum had been printed in figures, it would be natural to 
suppose that a cypher had been accidentally omitted : it is more difficult 
to admit that the word hundreds was printed for thousands; still it might 
be so, or there might have been an error of the pen in the manuscript. 


$400; Chester Johnson, $300 ; Sylvanus Town, $400 ; J. F., 
$400; H. S., $400; Acatus Robbins, $400; Elisha Jenne, 
$400; Luther Stiles, $400; J. B. Marsh, $400; Chauncey 
Peirce, $400; Smith Griffith, $400; Lewis Kinney, $;00; 
John Gray, $400 ; J. S. Fitch, $400 ; John Kendall, $400 ; 
Benj. Lane, $400; Francis Wm. Churchill, $400; Araminta 
P. Rice, $300; Sidney Rice, $400; Abijah Atherton, $800; 
Theron Arraes, $800 ; Hawes, $800; O. Pearson, $400; 
O. Johnson, $400; Lucas, $400; Jos. B. Robbins, $200; 
James Barton, $800; Thurston, $200; Allen, $400; 

Harrington, $800; Alba Smith, $800; Colton, $300; 

Young, $800; Loomis, $400. Total, $21,800. 

Thus, with reference to the $28,400 originally pledged by 
fifty-six persons, it appears that but ten persons, representing 
only $6,600 of the amount, actually engaged in the enterprise 
and made any payments; and of these the Consregationalists 
claim two, (Simmons and Avery,) while a third (Waters) sym- 
pathizes and acts with them in the present "controversy ; the 
subscriptions of the three amounting to $2,600, leaving $4,000 
of the portion of the original subscription that was paid, to the 
Presbyterians. Yet, in the face of this utter failcre of the 
subscription, as such, a copy, or rather a professed abstract of 
it, has been repeatedly published in the papers, and sent abroad 
in a circular, as evidence that Knox College was founded by 
the Presbyterians alone ! Was this honest ? 


Finding that the claim based on the original subscription 
would not hold good, resort has lately been had to a sale pro- 
fessed to have been made in New York State, after the locating 
Committee had made the purchase and returned. Professor 
Losey's private memorandum of this sale computes the result 
thus : (We give also Dr. Gale's account in Galesburg Demo- 
crat, Aug. 19, 1857.) 

Professor Losey's Account. 

Presbyterians, $20,170 

Congregational ists, - - 1,760 

Professor Cole's Account. 
Presbyterians, - - - $21,925 
Congregationalists, - - 1,900 

Unknown, 1,520 

$23,450 ' 


But on examining an attested copy of the names and the 
respective amounts placed opposite to them, we find $3,390 
credited to persons who never paid a dollar for college land, 
as the county records of land sales show. We find, moreover, 
$6,480 opposite names (including Mr. Waters) there claimed 
as Presbyterian, but which we have reason to believe should 
be transferred to the Congregational list. These corrections 
would reduce the amount of Presbyterian purchases to $1 0,300 
and increase those of the Congregationalists to $8,240. But 
the still farther inaccuracy of the whole schedule may be seen 
from the fact that the Presbyterians who actually went to 
Galesburg and took land are credited with $2,180 more than 
they ever paid to the college, according to the County records, 
which would reduce their purchase down to $8,120. In truth 
the whole sale was such but in name, taking effect only in case 
purchasers chose to consummate it, which many failed to do; 
and the memorandum of it is entirely unreliable as showing 
actual pecuniary transactions. 


This was originally published in 1845, and as it is now out 
of print and not generally accessible, the committee give ex- 
tracts bearing upon the facts in dispute. 

" These families were homogeneous in their character, par- 
taking of the spirit, as they sprang from the blood, of the 
Pilgrim Fathers of New England. They loved the Bible, 
the Sabbath and the Sanctuary. They cherished with slight 
or no variation, the same views of Gospel truth ; and felt as 
their fathers felt, the importance of transmitting the institu- 
tions of religion to those who. should come after them, as the 
richest inheritance they could leave." Page 3. 

" But their views were not restricted to benefitting their 
descendants. The object which gave birth to the enterprise, 
was that of diffusing over an important region of country, at 
an early period of its settlement, the combined influences of 
education and religion. Like their ancestors they had both 
* pastors and teachers.' " pp. 3 4. 

" Early the ensuing spring, after much consultation and 
prayer, a Presbyterian church was formed consisting of 82 


members; a part were the fruits of the late revival, but the 
most united by certificate. They were Presbyterians and 
Congregational is ts in nearly equal numbers; but both parties 
were resolved to yield their predilections father than divide. 
The same spirit has continued since, and though the church- 
polity has been somewhat modified, there is yet (1845) but 
one church in the village." p. 4. 

" The settlement of Galesburg originated. in the desire and 
hope of doing good. It had in this, its birth and being from 
the minds and hearts of its projector and his associates." 

" The writer of the present sketch, as early as 1825, con- 
ceived the plan of combining physical labor with education, 
especially for the benefit of those young men who in passing 
from laborious occupations to a life of study, too commonly 
surfer by the transition from active to sedentary pursuits. It 
was thought two objects might be obtained by such a scheme 
the^preservation^of health, and the cheapening of a liberal 
education to enterprising young men by the avails of their 
labor. The writer was connected with the first regular effort 
to combine manual labor with a liberal course of instruction 
made in this country. And though, like every valuable dis- 
covery, it was to be expected that this improvement in the 
mode of education would be affected by the ebbing and flow- 
ing of public sentiment, as indeed it has been ; yet he has the 
satisfaction of believing, with a multitude of best informed 
men, that vast benefits have accrued and are yet to accrue 
from the attempt to combine physical labor with intellectual 
culture and education in this country." 

"Encouraged by good success, and finding himself strait- 
ened in his location in New York State, by surrounding en- 
dowed institutions, the writer conceived and drew up a plan 
for a large institution at the West, which was in substance as 

" A colony of settlers was to be formed, and a township of 
land (i. e. six miles square, or 36 square miles or sections, 
making 23,040 acres,) purchased at the government price. 
Three sections near the centre being reserved for a village and 
college grounds; the remainder was to be divided into farms, 
appraised according to loc-ition, near or remote from the town 
and Institution, its woodlands, or other advantages; the whole 
to be rated at an average price of not less than $5 per acre ; 
and purchasers were to take these farms at their estimated 
and marked value ; or bid for the choice where there was com- 


petition. All the town property (a mile square,) after paying 
cost, was to constitute a fund for Academies for both sexes. 
And the proceeds of all other lands after paying expenses, 
etc., was to constitute a fund for building the College-edifices, 
and endowing professorships, and scholarships, consisting of 
the right of gratuitous instruction of one student for 25 
years for each 80 acres purchased and cultivated within a given 
time." p.p. 5 6. 

" A subscription was accordingly opened, and operations 
commenced. Rev. H. H. Kellogg, (since then first President 
of the college,) and Rev. John Waters, entered cordially into 
the enterprise, and attached themselves to it; though Mr. 
Kellogg, then engaged in a flourishing Institution for the edu- 
cation of females, which he had himself founded and built, did 
not remove to Illinois with the first who came. Rev. G. W. 
Gale was appointed to procure a colony of settlers. 

" About 30 families soon embarked in the enterprise, con- 
tributed funds for the purchase; and an exploring committee 
was chosen, consisting of Nehemiah West, Thomas Gilbert, 
and Timothy Jems. They were not to purchase ; but spend- 
ing, as they would, some of the hot months in the Westj to 
select and report a suitable location for the objects of the 
colony." p. 6. 

" No location was reported by the Committee. Doubt and 
uncertainty for a time settled upon the enterprise, but the 
Directors were not disheartened. The cause had been commit- 
ted to God, and the salvation of souls was in it. 

"They contributed six to seven hundred dollars in money; 
negotiated a loan of ten thousand dollars at the Bank of 
Michigan; and chose a purchasing committee who were to 
proceed forthwith to Illinois, select a location if possible, and 
make the purchase. This committee were Sylvanus Ferris, 
Neheraiah West, Thomas Simmons and Geo. W. Gale." p. 7. 

" At Detroit, Mr. Samuel Tompkins was added to the com- 
mittee in place of Rev. G. W. Gale, who was taken sick on 
his way up the lake. Mr. Tompkins, with Kev. John Waters, 
had accompanied the Committee, and the latter proceeded on 
with the Committee, and was present, aiding in the selection 
of the site." p. 7. 

" These minute details, though perhaps not interesting to the 
general reader, are yet so to the descendants of the men con- 
cerned, and may be of some use to future pioneers in the 


" But the controlling idea of the whole enterprise was the 
building up an institution of religious learning for present and 
future generations: and the spot on which this was to be 
erected was not fixed upon without grave and deliberate fore- 
cast." p. 8. 

" But commercial towns must be, and are rapidly rising 
along the cources of the great rivers; and Knox College is 
conveniently situated for the education of their sons. Taking 
Gaiesburg for a center, a sweep of 50 miles takes in 120 mil^s 
of the Mississippi: in other words, this great stream runs 120 
miles without getting more than 50 miles from Knox College. 
The same circle takes in more than 30 miles of the Rock 
River, and more than 70 of the Illinois; embracing besides 
other towns, 15 county seats. Whether a college placed in 
the center of such a region is located wisely, for present and 
prospective uses, capable minds will not find it difficult to 

" It has been suggested that, at present, one college that 
at Jacksonville is sufficient for the Presbyterian and Congre- 
gational wants of Illinois. The founders of Knox College 
judged otherwise. Such sparse collegiate policy has no prece- 
dent, in New England, or any where else, except in popula- 
tions wedded to ignorance. Even in Lower Canada, the 
Romanists had, fifteen years ago, located 6 colleges. 

" New England, excluding Maine, and including Vermont, 
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Is- 
land, has an area of 31,280 square miles; the State of Illinois 
has 55,000! In 1840 these States together had a population 
of 1,732,339; Illinois had 476,183. Those States have seven 
colleges for Congregationalists ; it has been suggested that 
one, at present, will do for Illinois." p. 9. 

" This sketch, designed for the double purpose of public 
information and a document for reference, is necessarily mi- 

" The purchasing committee returned, a meeting of the sub- 
scribers was called to receive their report at Whitesboro, N. 
Y., January 7, 1836. The report was satisfactory, was accep- 
ted, and the following proceedings had, viz : A College was 
provisionally organized, to be called, till chartered, " Prairie 
College" A Board of Trust appointed, consisting of Rev. 
John Waters, Sylvanus Ferris, Rev. H. H. Kellogg, Dea. 
Thomas Simmons, John C. Smith, Rev. Geo. W. Gale, Ne- 
hemiah West, Isaac Mills, Samuel Tompkins, and Dr. Walter 


Webb. The town site was reported, and the name Galesburg 
confirmed. Plats of the purchase were made. Town prop- 
erty was reserved of 560 acres. 1004 acres were reserved 
for college and theological uses. The balance of the purchase 
was divided into farms; appraised upon the average of five 
dollars per acre; and nearly half of the whole purchase sold 
to purchasers, most of whom had never seen the soil. Such 
was their confidence in the committee."' p.p. 10 11. 

" The town plat, made in the center of the purchase, em- 
braced 160 acres. The form, size and price of lots were fixed, 
A ten acre lot on each side of the town was reserved for male 
and female academies; also a cemetery of five acres, ground 
for a meeting house and a lot for a parsonage. Plans for 
Academy buildings, public house, and steam mill were sugges- 
ted, but finally left to private enterprise. 

" In the spring (1836) several families removed, by land, 
and arrived at the settlement in June. Others went on with 
them to prepare to remove their families in the fall. Among 
these were Messrs. West and Gale, two of the Trustees, who 
were authorized to procure a survey of the town plot, which 
they did, and sold a large amount of town property to emi- 
grants from New York Vermont and Maine; most of the 
Presbyterians and Congregationalists who had heard of and 
wished to join the enterprise." p. 11. 

'* An incident occurred at Portsmouth, respecting the Sab- 
bath, worthy of note. While tied up for the day at that 
place, a steamer came to on Sabbath morning, bringing home 
a large number of commissioners to the Presbyterian General 
Assembly? which had just closed its sessions. A clergyman 
came to the canal boat and addressing an old lady (most of 
the boat's company were at public worship on shore) invited 
them to come on board the steamer for worship. The old lady 
asked if the boat had not come in that morning ? He an- 
swered yes. " We had heard," said she, " that you were to 
have worship on board, but we had concluded not to attend 
the preaching of those who are breaking the Sabbath." p. 11. 

u There being but one religious society as yet in the place, 
(long may the happy Union continue), and all the influ- 
ences centering in the college and subordinate schools, the 
discipline over students is rather that of the place than of the 
institution, and nothing seems requisite but industry and 
fidelity, with the continued approbation and blessing of God, 
to realize the most ardent hopes and pious wishes of the 


founders and friends of the colony and Seminaries here plant- 
ed." p. 14. 


DEACON SAMUEL TOMPKINS testified: "I was one of the 
original trustees of the college, and was appointed with the 
others at Whitesboro', N. Y., in January 1836. I was also one 
of the committee who purchased the land for the settlement, 
having been put on at Ottawa, 111., in place of Rev. Mr. Gale, 
who was detained by illness. My expenses were borne from 
that time by the Association. I was never anything but a 
Congregationalist, and sympathized at the time with the efforts 
of Rev. Pindar Field, in N. Y. State, in behalf of pure Con- 
gregationalism. I purchased one hundred and twenty acres of 
the land, amounting to $560. I was present at the organiza-, 
tion of the first church in Galesburg, and moved that its 
denominational name and character be decided by a majority 
vote of all the members. To this Mr. Gale objected, and 
argued that we would better agree to the name Presbyterian, 
which was in better odor at the East and would bring us more 
aid for the college. He said that he cared little for the General 
Assembly or anything above the Presbytery. It was decided 
at the organization that members should be examined and 
received by the whole church, a majority of the session .sitting 
with them." 

DEACON THOMAS SIMMONS testified: "I was a member of 
the locating and purchasing Committee, and was one of the 
original trustees of the college. I was notified of my being 
constituted a member of the locating Committee before 1 left 
home in N. Y., by a letter from Rev. G. W. Gale, who first 
proposed it to me a week or two before, at Whitesboro', in 
August 1835. Afterwards Mr. Gale and the rest of the Com- 
mittee appointed Mr. Tompkins a member in the place of Mr. 
Gale, who was ill; which appointment was ratified by the 
Association in N. Y. State. I was at the time a member of 
the 2nd Congregational church at Hamilton,, N. Y., and was a 
" Pindar Field " Congregationalist. My expenses were borne 
by the Association through the entire journey, out and back. 


I paid $800 at starting, and $200 more at Galesburg, at the 
location and settlement. 

[Remarks by the Committee.- Let the reader compare the 
definite statement of these two individuals, who speak from 
their own knowledge, with the inaccurate hearsay story of 
Prof. Losey, in the Galesburg City News, July 2, 1858, as 

"It ought to be stated that Mr. Gale was taken sick at 
Detroit, and meeting with Thomas Simmons and Samuel 
Tompkins, who were going west on their own private business, 
the former of whom was a subscriber to Mr. Gale's circular, 
they, at Mr. G's suggestion, were requested to co-operate with 
the two members of the committee, which they did." 

So also Dr. Gale (Galesburg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857, 
bottom of 5th column) says, "At Buffalo the Committee met 
Messrs. Simmons and Tompkins going out for themselves. 
The Committee invited these gentlemen to join them, and assist 
them in their exploration." 

Again Dr. Gale says, (Cong. Herald, July iJ9, 1858) 
"Messrs. Simmons and Tompkins, who had undertaken the 
journey unsolicited, were requested by the Committee to act 
with them, quite as much out of favor to them as to the Com- 
mittee. The expenses of one of these were borne after he 
reached Detroit, till his return; of the other from Ottawa, 111. 
* * * they were never recognized by the Society as part of 
the Committee." These statements are disproved not only by 
the direct testimony of the two men above, but also by Dr. 
Gale's own " History," p. 7, (See Appendix I of this pam- 
phlet.) Moreover Mr. Simmons (as Dr. Gale acknowledges in 
Galesburg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857,) joined with Mr. West, 
the fourth member of the Committee, in endorsing the note for 
$10,000 drawn on the Bank of Utica by Kerris and Gale, the 
other two members, and discounted by the bank at Detroit, 
with the avails of which the land was entered. And Dr. Gale 
says that this was done " to give it the appearance of a Society 
transaction." Must not Simmons, then, have bee a a Commit- 
tee man, a representative of the Society. 

Compare, also, with the above, Mr. Gale's statement in the 
Galesburg Democrat, Aug. 19, 1857, " The projectors of the 
College were all Presbyterian, and not a single member 
of the Board of Trustees, at its organization, was con- 
nected with a Congregational church." Yet, further on in the 
same letter, speaking of the original purchase money and 


alluding to Simmons and Tompkins, he says, " Six hundred 
dollars of this sum being furnished by two men, the only per- 
sons connected with Congregational churches." Now, his own 
''History," p. 10, gives the names of these two men among 
the original Trustees! Thus does Dr. Gale continually furnish 
the materials for his own refutation. 

MR. WM . FERRIS testified : " I am the son of Esq. Sylva- 
nus Ferris. He lived in Norway, Herkimer Co., N. Y., and 
there professed religion, uniting .with the Congregational 
church, with which he remained for twelve or thirteen years 
till he removed from the place." 

MR, HENRY FERRIS testified: "I am the the son of Esq. 
S. Ferns. Father removed to the town of Russia, where he 
found the church to be Presbyterian, and united with it, but 
would have joined a Congregational church as readily." 

[Remark by Committee. Compare with the above, Dr. 
Gale's statement, (Congregational Herald, July 29, 1858,) 
" Messrs. West and Ferris, as well as myself, are represented 
as almost, if not altogether, Congregational ists. That either 
of these persons ever had any such tendencies was certainly 
never a suggestion of their own consciousness, and could not be 
believed if judged by their acts"] 

MR. HENRY FERRIS testified further: "I remember that, 
about the time of the organization of the church, Mr. Gale 
referred Jipprovingly to Mr. Firiney's remark, that ' hell had a 
jubilee whenever the General Assembly met,' and that he said 
that Brother Finney had left the General Assembly, but he 
was not yet prepared for that, though he did not know how 
soon he might be." 



Dr. Gale, in the Congregational Herald of July 29, 1858, 
in attempting to deny that Simmons and Tompkins (Congre- 
gationalists) were members of the purchasing and locating 
committee, makes, as in many other instances, the following 
unqualified but very incorrect assertion: "Nor were their 
names inserted in the title to the laud purchased." If this 


were true, it would prove nothing to the point, as it was, of 
course, much more convenient, both in purchasing and selling, 
to be obliged to secure the presence and signatures of two 
instead of four persons ; but to test the accuracy of Dr. Gale, 
we call attention to the following evidence: 

A document is in the hands of this Committee, entitled "A 
list of the Lnnds in Knox County entered in October and No- 
vember, 1835, and conveyed to the College;" prepared from 
the County Records and testified as correct by Thos. N. Ay res 
& Son, Real estate Agents. 

From this we learn that the following entries or purchases 
of land were made for the College: 

160 acres purchased by Ferris, West, SIMMONS and Gale of John G. San- 
born, October 17, 1835. 

76.47 do do do Ferris, West SIMMONS, and Gale of M. Crosby and 

W. W. Bailey, October 19, 1835. 

40 do do do Ferris, West, SIMMONS and Gale of Henry Lander 

October 17, 1835. 

140 do do do Ferris, West, SIMMONS and Gale, of Thomas Jen- 

nings, October 28, 1835. 

These 416.47 acres were conveyed to the College by Ferris, 
West, SIMMONS and Gale, March 7, 1838. Thus there would 
seem to be at least Jive deeds to disprove the wholesale asser- 
tion of Dr. Gale. 



COL. MATTHEW CHAMBERS, one of the leading citizens of 
Galesburg, both in respect to wealth, character and influence, 
being unable, on account of his health, to be present at the- 
public meeting, sent to the Committee the following document: 

" Mr. Lusher Gay and myself and sever;)! other gentlemen 
from Bridport, Vt., and other towns in the vicinity, started on 
an excursion in the month of May, 1836, for the far west, with 
the hope of finding a location to suit us in Northern or Central 
Illinois. * * * We continued our journey through Adams, 
Hancock and Warren counties to Monmouth. At this place 
we for the first time heard of the colony from central New 
York who were about locating in Knox County, ne -ir Hender- 
son Grove. We concluded to hasten on and have an inter- 


view with the Agents of the Colony, and learn of them their 
plans and prospects. "We arrived at the Grove after sundown 
and put up for the night. 

"In a short time after we arrived, the Rev. G. W. Gale, having 
heard that a company of strangers had arrived, cal'ed on 
us and introduced himself as one of the Agents of the Colony. 
After having been informed that we were from the State of 
Vermont, and were looking for a location in the West for our 
future homes, if we could find a place to suit us, Mr. Gale said 
that we would be suited, if we united in the enterprise of the 
colony, as religious and literary privileges would be in a short 
time equal to our best New England towns and villages, and 
he gave us a strong invitation to hear his plans and examine 
the farming lands and the village plat ; and he agreed to call 
on us the next morning. 

Mr. G. appeared very friendly and quite liberal in his views. 
So we all concluded that we would remain the next day and 
hear him make a statement of his plans, and take a view of 
the country. Mr . G. called on us the next morning, there 
being in company with us Mr. Erastus Swift of Vt., an ac- 
quaintance of ours. * * * I introduced Mr. Swift to him as a 
Congregational Deacon. Mr. G. then gave us a statement of 
his plans. * * * Some of the company said we had better 
purchase lands outside of the township at 1.25 per acre. Mr. 
G. argued that although we should have to pay a high price 
for the lands and town lota, all the money would go into the 
college fund for the establishment of first class literary institu- 
tions on liberal principles, such as we should all like, while 
our children and the youth generally would receive great 
privileges. * * * I inquired of Mr. G. how he could expect his 
plan to succeed, when there were so many corteges about start- 
in the region. "Oh," said he, " thev are sectarian and cannot 
succeed. He then spake of the Episcopal College at Robin's 
Nest, and also of the Presbyterian College at Macomb, which 
he said was a sectarian, bluestocking concern, dyed in the 
wool, and ridiculed the idea of such an institution ever flourish- 
ing. * * * I told Mr. G., that one of my motives for coming 
West was, to build up religious and educational interests, and 
that if I came, there would probably be a number of other 
families come with me. He seemed highly pleased, and said 
that New h ngland men were of the right stamp. 

Deacon Swift was an ardent Congregationalist, and the bet- 
ter to draw him (Mr. G.) out, we had made our denominational 


preferences quite prominent, as well as our attachment to the 
great reform movements of the day. All his talk was highly 
satisfactory to us, inspiring us with great confidence in his high- 
minded and 1 beral principles, and giving us assurance that the 
institutions of learning to be established here were to be com- 
mon to both our denominations. If Mr. Gale had at that time 
asserted any claims to Presbyterian predominance, as he now 
does, we should doubtless have sought our homes elsewhere. 

After consultation and viewing the lands, we concluded that 
we could not better subserve the interests of religion and edu- 
cation than to invest our funds here ; which we accordingly did. 
I am inclined to think that Mr. Gale was honest in his pledges 
to us, and for a number of years he manifested his impartiality 
by nominating to the Board such men as he deemed fit for the 
place, irrespective of their denominational preferences. But 
with the growing sectarianism of his denomination he has 
gradually changed, till, as is now seen, he does not scruple to 
violate all his former pledges, and to sacrifice the true in- 
terests of the college to the building up of a sect." 

[jRemark by the Committee. Col. Chambers bought of the 
college 400 acres of land, amounting to $2,000.] 

MR. R. PAYNE testified: "I came to Galesburg in the fall 
of 1836. I was in sentiment a Congregationalist, and received 
from Mr. Gale similar statements and assurances with those 
given to Mr. Chambers; Nothing was said to convey the idea 
of Presbyterian ascendancy." 

MR. WM. FERRIS testified again : " I came here in the 
spring of 1837, from similar reasons to those mentioned by 
Messrs. Chambers and Payne, and receiving the same assur- 
ances from Mr. Gale. I would not have come otherwise . The 
same was the universal feeling among the original settlers ." 



The church was organized with 82 members, and, according 
to the items set down in the " Kecords," 36 brought letters 
from Presbyterian churches, 25 from Congregational churches, 
2 came from the Methodists, 1 from the Baptists, and 1 8 were 
received on examination. But the church at Columbia, New 


York, from which three brought letters, was erroneously con- 
sidered a Presbyterian church, as will appear from the following 
document : 

" I hereby certify that Col. Isaac Mills and myself were mem- 
bers and officers of the same church in Columbia, N.Y., at the time 
he left for Galesburg. The church was originally a Congrega- 
tional church. Becoming weak by a division of the town, we 
were told that by electing elders and coming under care of 
Presbytery, we could get aid from the American Home 
Missionary Society. We did so, and Col. Mills and myself 
were elders. But the church continued to receive members by 
vote of the brotherhood, and discipline was by the church, as 
before. After Col. Mills left for Illinois, the church withdrew 
altogether from the Presbytery. I therefore consider the 
records of the First Church of Galesburg, which represent Col. 
Mills and family as from a Presbyterian church, incorrect. 
Signed, Galesburg, Oct. 14, 1858. Chauncey Adams." 

Deducting, therefore, three from the Presbyterian number, 
and adding them, with the one Baptist, (who, as to ch'urch 
government, was Congregational,) to the other side, the num- 
bers nominally stand thus: Presbyterians 33, Congregation- 
alists 29. 

Even then, we do not have a certain clue to the personal sen- 
timents of the members, because many of the Presbyterian 
churches in New York State were formed on the " Plan of 
Union," and embraced a large Congregational membership. 
Hence we find to-day that thirteen of those marked above as 
coming from Presbyterian churches, are earnest Congre^ation- 
alists. The testimony of persons who participated in the or- 
ganization is, that a majority preferred Congi'ogationalism, 
which is corroborated by the opposition which was made at the 
time by Mr. Gale to the motion that the character of the 
church should be decided by the major vote of the members. 



In corroboration of the assertion of various witnesses that 
the church from the beginning acted on the Congregational 


principle of receiving members by a vote of the entire brother- 
hood, the following Reiolution, based on such a practice, was 
passed at the time of organization : 

" Resolved, That it is expedient for the sake of becoming- 
better acquainted with each other's Christian character, to have 
each one give au account of his hope those who present let- 
ters, as well as those who design for the first time to make a 
profession of religion." Records p. 1. 

The Records were not always conformed in language by 
those who kept them (Mr. Gale and others) to the actual prac- 
tice of the church ; but to suit the eye of Presbytery, were 
made to read simply "The Session met," and such and such 
persons were accepted. But from Feb. 1841 to Feb. 1846, 
under the clerkship of Nehemiah West, they read truly, and in 
this form, " Church and Session met," &c. 

The inaccuracy of the Records in this particular and a die 
position evinced by some to treat the church as " purely Pres- 
byterian," led in 1845 to a serious difficulty among the mem- 
bers which threatened to defeat the erection of the church 
edifice, the members refusing to raise the frame after it was 
prepared until this matter was adjusted. To define ecclesias- 
tical matters beyond dispute, a series of resolutions was adopted 
as a "Compromise," as follows: 

1. "That no member shall hereafter be received into this 
church except at a church meeting, when every member may 
have an equal vote in the case." 

2. Makes the eldership rotary. 

3. Makes the deaconship rotary. 

4. Gives an accused member his choice of trial by the Session 
or by the Church. 

5. Provides for the representation of the church both in the 
Association and in the Presbytery. 

The Records say of the above articles, " After much debate 
and consultation, they were adopted entire, unanimously." pp. 

It is evident from all the testimony, that the church at 
its origin cared less for denominational forms and names than 
for religion and morals, and the work of education and reform. 
The idea which united them was that of progress in the war 
against sin. How faithful the church remained to its original 
principles, may be learned from the records, Book B, pp. 77, 
78, where the Church decline (April 2d, 1853,) to send any 
delegate to Presbytery, until the " Presbytery shall "satisfy 


the Session, that they will forsake the Assembly unless the 
Assembly forsakes Slavery;" also do. p. 190, where the church 
(October 6th, 1855,) hopeless of proper action by the Presby- 
tery, say "We declare our connection with that body dissolved." 
Finally it appears, that Oct. 8th, 1856, the word "Presbyte- 
rian," was dropped from the name. Records, Book B, p. 1 95. 



MR. J. DE LONG testified ; " I was elected, a number of 
years since, an elder of the First Church in Galesburg. Being 
in principle a Congregationalist, I objected to accepting the 
office, because the Presbyterian Book requires an elder, at his 
ordination, to approve of the form of government of the Pres- 
byterian church in the United States . Therefore it was agreed 
that the words should be changed, and that I should assent to 
the form of government administered in this church ; which I 
did, Mr. Gale propounding the words in their modified form." 

Rev. L. H. PARKER testified: "I was present when the 
* Compromise' was adopted, in consequence of the dissatisfac- 
tion of the Congregational portion of the church, because the 
original understanding had not been fully maintained. It was 
decided that the present elders and deacons should resign, that 
thereafter they should be elected for a term of three years, that 
members were to be received by vote of the brotherhood, that 
discipline should be either by the Church or Session, as the per- 
son might elect, with an appeal to either a council or the Presby- 
tery, but not beyond, and that the church should be represented 
both in Presbytery and Association. I had personal knowledge 
of the case of Mr. De Long, being the stated supply of the 
church at the time, and present on the occasion, and know that 
his account of the concession made to him is correct." . 

BURG, 1849. 

To show that the church was, in membership and methods 
of procedure, always largely Congregational, we quote from 


the " Manual" prepared by Mr. Gale, and with his name on the 
title page, several passages corroborating that view. The 
manual was prepared before the present conflict arose, and its 
testimony is therefore the more reliable. 

"In the prosecution of the 'plan for establishing Literary 
Institutions in the West,' a purchase of land was made, 
where Galesburg now stands, by a committee sent out for 
that purpose, in Oct. 1835. It was undertaken by minis- 
ters, elders and members of the Presbyterian church, chiefly in 
Central and Western New York. A few brethren of the Con- 
gregational churches, were among the number. . In all there 
were about 30 families. By some, it was thought best to form 
a church of the proposed emigrants, and select a pastor before 
leaving New York. It was, however, on further consideration, 
thought best to omit it, until they should arrive at their new 
homes in the West. It was well that this prevailed, as a con- 
siderable number of the families found themselves unable to 
remove." p. 13. 

"The Rev. John Waters arrived in the winter with his 
family, having been detained by the illness of his daughter, 
east of the Illinois river. Mr. Waters was one of those who 
joined the enterprise, at an early period, and who, though ad- 
vanced in years, did not hesitate to encounter the trials and 
privations inseparable from such an undertaking, to aid such 
an object. His assistance in the settlement, was timely and 
acceptable." p. 15. 

" The articles of faith now used by the church were adopted, 
and 82 persons united 18 on confession, chiefly the fruits of 
the revival above mentioned, and the rest by letter from Pres- 
byterian and Congregational churches at the East." p. 16. 

" The remaining part of the summer, and in the fall, the 
pulpit was supplied chiefly by Mr. Marsh, a licentiate of Knox 
Presbytery, and Rev. J. Waters. Mr. Hollister, a Congrega- 
tional minister, residing in a neighboring town, was employed 
during the winter. Early in the succeeding summer, the Rev. 
Lucius H. Parker, a Congregational minister from the East, 
arrived with his family and was employed for one year, and 
again employed till late in the fall of 1845. During this 
period, viz: from July, 1843, to the close of the'year 1845, 
34 persons were added; all but 7 by letter. 29 were dismiss- 
ed, 1 suspended, 5 died, and 24 infants were baptized. In 
the summer of 1845, dissatisfaction arose among some part of 
the church in relation to the government a portion of them 


being, by education and preference, Congregationalists. The 
discussion resulted in the modification of the government, 
called a compromise, the substance of which is as follows : 

1 . All the members may have a voice in the reception of 
candidates into the church. 

2. The eldership shall be rotary r , each holding his office in 
the church, for 3 years; when he may be re-elected, or some 
one else chosen in his stead. The Deacons, subject to the 
same rule. 

3. Any member, when cited for trial, may, if he chooses, 
be tried by tbe adult members of the church instead of the 
session ; but in such cases, he can have no right of appeal_to 
Presbytery . 

4. The church may choose delegates to the Association. 
Few discussions of this nature could be. conducted with 

more moderation than this, or terminate more happily ; and 
well it might. While the compromise secures to the portion 
of the church, who desired a change, all the privileges they 
could reasonably ask, it leaves the rights and privileges of the 
others unimpaired. It had always been customary to examine 
persons applying for admission, in the presence of the church, 
and for them by vote to express their satisfaction with the 
candidate." pp. 1920. 

" Such was the expedient adopted to preserve the unity of 
the church. The time may come when numbers and other 
considerations, may justify a separation, but that time has 
not yet arrived." p. 20. 


PRES. BLANCHARD testified further: I visited Galesburg some 
six months before my election as President of Knox College, to 
wit, in April, 1845. I then told Professors Gale and Losey that 
I was in sentiment a Congregationalist, and that if I left Cin- 
cinnati 1 should never join Presbytery. Prof. Gale's History 
of the College was sent to me to Cincinnati for publication. I 
was to superintend the printing and correct any infelicities of 
style, but nothing more. Nor could I, from want of knowledge, 
possibly do any more, accurately and honestly, and there was 
then no motive surely, or even method, of a successful alteration 
dishonestly. How absurd the idea that I, a stranger to Gales- 


burg, having cnly visited it for a few days six months before, 
should undertake to modify the history of the settlement and 
college. I made no alterations, unless it were verbal ones 
affecting style only. The original manuscript was not preserved 
but was left in the printer's hands. 

I am acquainted with Mr. J. P. Willis ton and with the circum- 
stances in which he came to the aid of the college. It was in 
its darkest hour, when one dollar of aid was of more value to the 
institution, than many dollars now. He is a member and officer 
of the 1st Congregational church, Northampton, Mass., a per- 
sonal friend of my own, and made his donation from sympathy 
with the reformatory spirit of the college, and with the under- 
standing that Congregationalists were equally concerned in the 
college with Presbyterians. He has recently written me a 
letter in which he charges the Presbyterians with perverting 
his donations by their sectarian action. 

I was also acquainted with Judge Phelps, who, at a later 
period, donated land to the college to the value of $30,000. 
Though not a church member he was in sentiment a Congrega- 
tionalist, and attended worship for many years at a Congrega- 
tional church in Vermont, till, a difficulty arising, he went 
with his wife to a Baptist church. He assured me himself 
that his Congregational principles had undergone no change. 
He died at Cincinnati." 



There is no doubt that the original endowment of the college 
was by the sale of the Farm lands, (each piece of 80 acres carry- 
ing with it a scholarship for twenty-five years) to those settlers 
who came during the early years of the enterprise, and who 
chose to pay five dollars there, in order to endow the college, 
instead of purchasing at a less price elsewhere. They paid the 
money which started the college, and they did it for that very 
purpose. If, now, we can obtain a correct list of those who 
actually paid for land and took deeds for the same, and can 
ascertain their personal sentiments as to denominational pecu- 
liarities, we can decide in what proportion the endowment was 
furnished by Congregationalists and in what proportion by 


Presbyterians. The Committee have the means of stating the 
facts on this subject more fully and certainly than any who 
have heretofore professed to be familiar with them far more 
so than Prof Gale or the Presbytery which examined his papers. 

We have a list of all the actual purchasers, drawn from the 
County Records, and certified to be correct by Thos. N. Ay res & 
Son, Real Estate Agents, to which is added a minute plan or 
plat of all these lands and their subdivisions, with the names of 
purchasers inserted in the proper places. 

This list has been examined by six of the early settlers, men 
of standing in Galesburg, and personally acquainted with those 
named, who have arranged the names in classes according to 
denominational preferences, appending the following certificate : 

GALESBURG, Sept. 24, 1858. 

We hereby certify that the accompanying statement of the 
purchase of the Farm lands originally entered for Knox College, 
has been prepared under our inspection, and by us compared 
with a plat of the said entry made and certified by Thos. N. 
Ayres & Son, and also with our personal knowledge and recol- 
lection of the facts ; and the same is, according to our best 
knowledge and belief, correct. 






Their statement is as follows : 


Thos. Simmons, 200 acres; Jones Harding, 160; C. S. Col- 
ton 80; A very family 320; Samuel Hitchcock, 80 ; M. Cham- 
bers, 400; Eli Farnham, 160; S. Tompkins, 120; L. Sander- 
son, 160; A.Tyler, 80; H. Wilcox, 80; John G. West 80; R. 
Payne, 160; James Jerould, 80; Henry Ferris, 280; Joel Mar- 
tin, 120; Rev. John Waters, 400; Mills family, 200; A. C. 
Higgins, 80; Henry Groescup, 90; J. Blancha'rd, 160; Wm. 
M. Ferris, 80; L. Gary, 80; A. B. Clark, 40. Total, 3,690 
acres at $5 $18,450. 

[Remark by Committee. The Rev. John Waters, named 
above, is nominally a Presbyterian, not having dissolved his 


connection with Presbytery, but be attends and supports the 
First Congregational Churcb in Galesburg, (Rev. Dr. E. Beech- 
er's) of which his wife is a member, and he espouses the Con- 
gregational side in the present controversy.] 

Known Congregational pur chasers dead or absent. Leonard 
Chappell, 120 acres; Barber- Allen, 320; Dr. Pomroy, 80; 
Dea. Swift, 400; S. Pomroy, 160; W. B. Hamlin, 80; Wm. 
E. Holyoke, 80; Hugh Conger, 80. Total, 1,320 acres at $5 

Other Purchasers not Presbyterians. Sher. Williams, 240 
acres; R. Root, 80; Wm. Lee, (Baptist) 160; C. Finch, 120; 
Mr. Lee, 80; N. Dimmed Ferns, 80; Dutton, 80; Wm. 
B. Patterson, 120; Thirl well, 40; S. Richardson, 40. To- 
tal, 1,040 acres at $5 $5,200. 

Purchasers who were never Residents; sentiments not 
known. A. N. Randall, 320 acres; A. G. Pierson, 80; M. 
Camp, 80 ; Kinney, 80 ; Pettibone, 40 ; A. Robbins, 
80; Mr. Fitch, 80. Total, 760 acres at $5 $3,800. 

Individual who does not wish to be classed. G. W. G. Fer- 
ris, 300 acres at $5 $1,500. 

Presbyterian Purchasers. N. H. Losey, 120 acres; 
McMullen, 80; Kellogg, 400; G. W. Gale, 240; Frost, 
80; N. West, 120; Esq. Ferris, 240; Grant, 80; W. A. 
Wood, 120. Total, 1,480 acres at $5 $7,400. 


Congregational Purchasers, $25,050 

Presbyterian, V 00 

Various' denominations, --- 5,200 

Unknown and nonresident, - - - VT>: - - - - 3,800 
M ot wishing to be classed, 1,500 

Total, $42,950 


NORTHAMPTON, MASS., Nov. 12, 1858. 

Rev. WM. W. PATTON Dear Sir, In answer to your in- 
quiries' I have to say, that I am a Deacon in the Congrega- 
tional Church of which Rev. "Jonathan Edwards was once a 


pastor. I have never been a member of any other church. 
My preferences are in favor of my own denomination, though 
when I first became interested in Knox College, I supposed it 
was not and would not be, either a Congregational or Presby- 
terian institution. I was given to understand, that it would 
be eminently a Christian college, one that good men of differ- 
ent sects, who aimed at a higher tone of Christian morals, 
would heartily support. When Mr. Gale solicited my interest 
in its behalf, he represented himself and the people in Gales- 
burg as sympathizing deeply in the cause of anti-slavery and 
temperance, of which he knew I was an earnest friend. He 
represented that the Society for helping Western Colleges 
was not disposed to put Knox College on their list, and that 
as they professed to aid such colleges as were most worthy, 
they engrossed the funds that otherwise he might have got. 

His collections were small when I saw him, and one of my 
first donations was, a set of classical books for the use of the 
first class, then about entering college, which were afterwards 
to be loaned to succeeding classes. For several years after, 
while the college had few friends and less money, I made it a 
special object of my regard, and the more because it was not a 
favorite with the Western Collegiate Society, and seemed to 
have more sympathy with unpopular Christian truths than 
most other colleges, and afforded greater facilities to poor stu- 

The election of Mr. Blanch ard to the Presidency greatly 
increased my interest in its welfare. I ceased my pecuniary 
aid, only when, from the great increase of its landed property, 
it did not seem to require it. I deeply regret, that with its 
increase of wealth, a change has come over some of its earliest 
friends that they now seem to have less sympathy with 
Christ's poor, and especially that they are endeavoring to 
monopolize for the interest of a sect, what was given not to 
Paul or Apollos but to Christ. 

Very respectfully yours, J. P. WILLISTON. 




This circular is signed R. W. Patterson and W. H. Brown, 
and is dated Chicago, Dec. 16, 1851, and was " to be sent to 
all the members of the Pre.sbyteries connected with the synods 
of Illinois, Peoria and Missouri." It says: 

"In May, A. D. 1850, a Convention was held in Chicago, 
for considering the expediency of taking measures to establish 
a Theological Seminary in the North- West. At that meeting 
it was unanimously resolved that the time had come when 
incipient steps should be taken with reference to this object, 
and a standing Committee of five, consisting of Rev. Messrs. 
G. W. Gale, 8. G. Spees, R. W. Patterson, and L. H. Loss, 
and Elder Ralph Ware, of Granville, ill., was appointed to 
take such further measures on the subject as they might deem 
expedient. Also, Committees were appointed to visit the 
synods above named," &c. 

From the plan of the Seminary we extract article V., 1, 
in part. 

" Each Presbytery of the constitutional Presbyterian church 
within the States of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, or the 
Territories adjacent, that shall approve this constitution and 
contribute to the support of the Seminary, shall be entitled to 
choose one Director." 




" But who does not see that the moment when it becomes 
inconsistent with the prosperity of a college, or a church, or 
society, to make open war on all manner of sin, that moment 
the Institution becomes anti-Christ in its bearings on the com- 
munity ; and ought either to be reformed by God's children, or 
abandoned ? For the object and end for which such institutions 
are established, is, or should be, to remove ignorance, error, 
and sin ; and establish their opposites : and that not by skilful 


indirection and adroit and cunning management, but by open 
honorable, and holy instruction. And the moment when it 
becomes inconsistent with their prosperity to oppose evil; 
those institutions have changed their nature and ought to lose 
their support: for, besides, that they fail of answering the just 
end for which such institutions were founded, they teach 
Christians, by force of their ill example, to subordinate the truth 
to sect; a "church leprosy which must be healed before 
Christ's kingdom will come." p. 26. 

" The mind of the church or of the student, is apt to follow 
that of their teachers. But the mind of the non-committalist 
teacher, instinctively shuns controverted truths, that is, truths 
which meet the opposition because they conflict with the sin- 
ful ways of men : he will lead the minds of his hearers to 
contemplate distant sins, or sins already universally decried; 
long-exploded errors, and often the sins and errors of the past 
generation; for the sins of the present generation are commonly 
" exciting subjects" and must be treated " in the abstract" 
Non-committal mind shuns to consider the wickedness of the 
present day and hour, unless it be some evil practice which is 
already s commonly spoken against, that none will take offence 
at hearing its condemnation repeated." p, 26. 

" Thus the young, and ardent, and powerful, and balanced 
minds; those whom God has qualified, and whom reforms 
need for leaders, are the very class which this silent policy of 
our public institutions is burying from the moving host of God, 
in the living grave of moral non-committalism. 

The result is, that reforms (for reforms God has ordained 
there shall be) are often thrown into the hands of men and 
women, of defective minds, which yet see moral principles with 
great clearness, and will not rest in silence while they are 
trampled on. Thus, it is the non-committal clergy, not Abo- 
litionists, who give fanatical men and women their vocation, 
so far as they influence the honest and the good. On the 
Christian battle field, where truth and falsehood, sin and holi- 
ness grapple, it is because the qualified leaders retire from the 
very point of action, in an army which is conscious of the 
goodness of its cause, and, leaders or no leaders, is determined 
to fight that fanatics find followers among the righteous and 
the sane." p. 28. 

" All Christendom is now one vast deliberative body, trying 
the question: " Shall the wicked triumph?" and every silent 
voter is counted in the affirmative. The only circumstance 


which can prevent those who are silent on questions of reform 
from strengthening the wrong cause, is utter insignificance 
that they influence nobody are regarded by nobody but 
are mere unnoticed dust on the balances of public opinion." 
p. 28. 

" That this is true, appears from this plain fact, that when a 
public man, or public seminary takes pains to suppress or shun 
any question of reform, it gives the testimony of its example 
against the discussion of that question ; and implies a censure 
on all who take part in it. And this is all the protection 
sin asks. For sin does not propagate itself by arguments ad- 
dressed to men's understandings, but by lures and temptations 
presented to their interests, appetites and passions. Let sin 
alone and it will spread. To defend it, is to expose." p. 29. 

" If then, I am asked, * What ought our College and Semi- 
nary faculties to do for reform ? ' With the utmost simplicity 
and directness I reply : 

" Those Faculties ought to lead their students, both by pre- 
cept and example, to take the simple ground of opposition to 
prevailing sins, which truth demands, and to do their utmost, 
by prayer and instruction, to infuse into the youth a zeal for 
reformation which will enable them to breast the after opposi- 
tion which they will meet from the world. We want a martyr 
age of Colleges and Seminaries to send forth a host of young 
men at the sound of whose goings the whole land shall tremble 
men who will not rest while one way or practice in the 
community violates the law of God who will toil for Christ 
as assiduously as the minions of Popery drudge for the man of 
Sin ; and who will withstand established evils meekly, openly 
and boldly, as Luther withstood his accusers at the Diet of 
Worms." "p. 29. 



" One other topic demands a moment's consideration. What 
should be the relation of the College to the various controver- 
ted questions of the day, in things ecclesiastical and moral ? My 
own settled convictions are, that the college is not the place, 
and this early stage of education is not the fitting time, in 
which to inculcate distinctive opinions on doubtful or contested 
points, either in religion or morals. As in intellectual, so^in 
religious and moral matters, the college is the place in which 


to lay foundations. Let pupils be trained to a clear apprehen- 
sion of their personal responsibility; let a high sense of honor 
be inculcated, and an inflexible regard for truth and right; let 
pure sentiments, and a quick and correct moral sense be culti- 
vated; let the principles and practical teachings of the Word 
of God be made familiar to the mind; and then, superadded 
to this, let gentlemanly manners and a courteous deportment 
and address be formed ; and withal a habit of independent 
thought, and bold, frank, manly utterance, so it be also kind 
and conciliatory ; and we may safely leave the rest to time, and 
free individual action. I have great faith in truth, and con- 
science, and Providence, and free thought, and human pro- 
gress. If right principles be inculcated, and pnre sentiments, 
we need not fear but right conclusions will be reached by each 
individual acting for himself. Teachers in public institutions, 
like other men, may form their own opinions on every question 
of religion, or reform, or politics; and may utter or publish 
those opinions at their discretion, in fitting ways and on appro- 
priate occasions. But they should not compromise the char- 
acter of the college by becoming propagandists of any individ- 
ual or partizan peculiarities, nor should the college chapel, or 
lecture or recitation rooms be misappropriated to the inculca- 
tion of any such peculiarities. We may mold children and 
youth, before they are ripened into maturity, in almost any 
shape, and stamp on them almost any impression we please. 
But we only make them small bigots, and self-confident dog- 
matists, by such a process. It is better to teach a young man 
how to reason correctly, and then leave him to do the reason- 
ing himself, than to reason for him. It is better to discipline 
his mind to careful investigation, and to sound logical deduc- 
tions, and then, with a well instructed conscience, and a warm 
heart, and an honest attachment to whatever is true and right, 
to send him forth into the world to meet questions as they 
arise, to face facts, and hear arguments, and weigh consequen- 
ces; and if he does not decide as we would have him, it may 
become us to review our own judgments before we condemn, 
liberty of thought as tending to error before we conclude to 
put the minds of youth in straight jackets while in their 
forming state, lest they should not think as we do. 

" If we would form men of strong minds, self-reliant and 
well balanced, accustomed to reason soundly and to act intelli- 
gently; men discreet and wise; we must not forestal their 
judgment, and pre-occupy their minds with our conclusions. 


It does not argue very much confidence in the correctness of 
our own views, if we are unwilling to have others, and espec- 
ially our youth, reason and judge, and decide for themselves." 


NEW LONDON, Oct. 25, 1858. 

REV. W. "W. PATTON, Chairman, &c. 

Dear Brother, Your note of the 8th inst. inquiring as to the 
correctness of the statements respecting Beloit College, made 
in Dr. Curtis' Inaugural Address, reached me a few days ago, 
forwarded from Beloit. 

I read the statements to which you refer, with the utmost 
surprise and regret. Standing as they do unqualified and 
unexplained, they convey an impression whieh is altogether 
false to the origin, the history, and the entire policy and spirit 
of Beloit College. I cannot understand how Dr. Curtis could 
have made the statements. 

Beloit College was founded before the denominational spirit 
had awakened, in any great degree, jealousy and competition 
between brethren of the N. S. Presbyterian and Congregational 
churches. In the Conventions whose counsels originated the 
enterprise, these two branches of the church were heartily 
united. In the Board of Trustees, as originally constituted 
and as modified by subsequent changes, they have been repre- 
sented in equal proportion. From the first, its Faculty has 
been composed of men free from denominational bias either 
way, hearty in their sympathy and readiness to co-operate 
with both denominations for the promotion of sound learning 
and true piety. All the counsels of both the Trustees and the 
Faculty have been characterized by singular unanimity. No 
jar or discord has hitherto occurred to disturb the peace and 
prosperity of the college. No partisan action, no positive 
influence has gone forth to favor one more than the other of 
these kindred branches of the church. It has drawn its 
resources and patronage from both, and has, I trust, contribu- 
ted to the welfare of both. Through all its progress, the aim 
has been single and constant; in an unsectional, unsectarian, 
catholic spirit, to build up as rapidly and securely as possible, 


an institution for imparting a thorough, liberal education in 
literature and science, and the common faith of the gospel. 
Such being the origin and policy of the college, I do not hesi- 
tate to say that it has not been and cannot be used for any 
partisan purpose whatever. It cannot be claimed by either 
division of the church as exclusively its own. It cannot justly 
be charged with being controlled by either, or giving its influ- 
ence in favor of one more than of the other. It belongs to 
both. It is governed by the views and principles common to 

We rejoice that the college was founded when such a union 
was practicable, when this policy could be adopted. However 
the denominational spirit may rise and run its course, I confi- 
dently believe there will be no occasion nor disposition to 
change the policy of Beloit College. I am confident its 
brightest prosperity will be secured by maintaining its position 
aloof from any direct ecclesiastical or denominational control, 
and by conducting its operations free from the intermixture of 
either State or church politics, free, too, from any bias of 
influence to objects unworthy of the character and design of a 
Christian college. Very truly yours, 

President of Beloit College. 



The following letters were published in the Oalesburg 
Democrat, October 15, 1857, and fully confirm Dr. Beech er in 
the only specific assertion attempted to be disproved by the 
Presbytery of Peoria and Knox. The Committee are not 
aware that any reply was ever made in behalf of the Presby- 

To the Rev. E. BEECHER, D. D. 

Dear Brother: Sometime previous to the year 1851, the 
Rev r . F. Bascom then pastor of the First Church in Galesburg, 
desiring to put an end to existing difficulties, drew up a paper 
in the nature of a confession and requested Mr. (then Prof.) 
Gale to sign it that it might be read to the church as an end 
of controversy. The confessions in the paper were general. 


The most important point in it was a pledge to a future broth- 
erly walk. Mr. Bascom informed me that Mr. Gale had con- 
sented to sign the paper if I signed it. I signed the paper. 
Mr. Bascom came to me again saying that Mr. Gale had with- 
drawn his consent and now refused to sign the paper, and 
wished to know if I was willing to have it read in Church 
meeting with my name alone attached. I replied that I \vas. 
It was so read and the church unanimously voted that I had 
done what was my duty in the matter. 

Not very long afterwards I saw (as T had not before) that in 
publicly exposing Mr. Gale's course toward myself, without first 
seeking by Christian labor to bring him to repentance, I had 
neglected divine precepts; and in hating him for injuring me, 
I had also sinned. Both these things I confessed, as soon as I 
saw them, to Mr. Gale and to the church. 

Seeing that matters were not yet reconciled, April 1851, 1 
went to a meeting of the Presbytery of Peoria and Knox at 
Kuoxville, and asked leave of the Presbytery to table charges 
against Mr. Gale. 

After discussson, a majority of the members agreed to give 
me leave. As it would require a long time and several meet- 
ings to put the case through the regular forms, I requested 
Presbytery to grant a summary hearing and give an advisory 
judgment, pledging myself to abide by it. Presbytery did as 
I requested, and heard us nearly two whole days. After stat- 
ing and supporting my charges, I distinctly informed Presby- 
tery that it was not my wish to induce them to depose Mr. 
Gale, but that they should induce him to live and act like a 

The Presbytery came to a unanimous result, the point of 
which was, that, in their judgment I had done right in con- 
fessing, and in reference to him used the words, " We indulge 
the hope that Br. Gale will see it to be his duty to do the same" 

Mr. Gale and myself were then called in and the result of 
Presbytery read to us. As it was couched in mild and 
conciliatory language, and to remove all doubt as to what was 
done by Presbytery, I arose and addressed the moderator in 
nearly these words: 

"Presbytery say that I have done "right in confessing my 
sins in these difficulties to Mr. Gale and to the church," and 
Presbytery express the hope that Mr. Gale will do the same ." 
"Do the Presbytery then mean that Mr. Gale owes a confes- 
sion to myself and to the church at Galesburg ?" 


Father Miles (the moderator) said, " the members could an- 
swer for themselves." He then called each member by him- 
self and every one answered " Yes" 

Since that time Mr. Gale has never said one word to me on 
the subject, more or less ! , 

The recent attempt of Presbytery to do away the effect of 
its righteous action in that case because, at my request, it 
was advisory; and their justifying Mr. Gale in contemning 
their own just decision in order to cover his recent proceedings; 
would in men of the world be deemed poor, paltering and 

Yours in the affections of Christ, 



I certify as having been at the time clerk of presbytery that the 
account given above by Pres. Blanchard of the interpretation 
given by the Presbytery of their own language is according to 
my distinct and positive recollection strictly true and accurate. 



A copy of the circular which which was published at the 
inception of the college enterprise, is in the hands of the Com- 
mittee , and is as follows : 

The indications of Providence, as well as the requisitions of 
Christ, impose on Christians of this day peculiar obligations 
to devise and execute, as far as in them lies, liberal and efficient 
plans for spreading the gospel through the world. The supply 
of an evangelical and able ministry, is in the whole circle of 
means, confessedly the most important for the accomplishment 
of this end : all other means are the mere aids and implements 
of the living preacher. And yet, important as it is to the sus- 
taining of the church, and the conversion of the world, there 
is reason to believe that the business of furnishing a devoted 
and efficient ministry, has entered less into the calculations of 
Christians at large, than any other department of benevolent 
effort of the present day ; certainly much less in proportion to 
its magnitude. Perhaps they have thought this a work 


peculiarly the Lord's, in which they had very little to do. 
But the language of our Savior, "Pray ye the Lord of the har- 
vest to send forth laborers," and the fact that they are to be 
furnished, not by miracle, but by the slow process of educa- 
tion, prove, that we have much to do; especially when we look 
at the field which our own country, to say nothing of the wide 
world, spreads out before us; a field "white for the harvest." 

Who that loves the souls of men can look on this field and 
not feel his heart affected, and not tax his energies to the ut- 
most, as well as offer his most fervent prayers to the Lord of 
the harvest, that he would furnish the laborers ? Who that 
loves the institutions of his country, can look upon it without 
alarm, when he reflects that in a few, a very few years, they 
will be in the hands of a population reared in this field ; and 
reared, unless a mighty effort be made by evangelical Chris- 
tians, under the forming hand of those who are no less the 
enemies of civil liberty, than of a pure gospel ? What is done 
to prevent this ruin must be done quickly. It is perfectly 
within the power of evangelical Christians in this country, 
under God, to furnish, and that speedily, all the laborers want- 
ed on this field, besides doing much towards supplying the 
world. The men are already furnished ; if not, " the Lord of 
the harvest" will furnish them. Hundreds of youth of talent, 
and piety, and enterprise, stand ready to enter upon the work 
of preparation, thorough preparation, whenever a "wide and 
effectual door is opened" for them. The manual labor system, 
if properly sustained and conducted, will open to them that 
door. It is peculiarly adapted not only to qualify men for the 
self-denying and arduous duties of the gospel ministry, espe- 
cially in our new settlements and missionary fields abroad, but 
to call them out ; to induce them to enter upon the work of 
preparation. It is an important fact that while other institu- 
tiors are, many of them, greatly in want of students, these, 
with all the disadvantages under which they have to labor, are 
not only filled, but great numbers are rejected for want of 
means to accommodate them. Let institutions be established 
on this plan, having all the requisitions and facilities for profit- 
able labor, in connection with the advantages for literary ac- 
quisitions enjoyed in our well endowed seminaries, and there 
will be no lack of students; especially if there be added to 
these the means of gratuitous instruction to the indigent. 
Let such provision be made, and three-fourths of the indigent 
young men will ask no other aid ; and should they ask it, the 

x o^s 90 

church would do them a favor to refuse them, and leave them 
^ C \to their efforts to make up the deficiency. 

It is beginning to be believed, and not without good reason, 
, vfchat females are to act a much more important pait in the 
conversion of the world, than has been generally supposed; 
not as preachers of the gospel, but as help-meets of those who 
are ; and as instructors and guides of the rising generation, not 
only in the nursery, but in the public school : it should there- 
fore be an object of special aim with all who pray and labor 
for the conversion of the world, to provide for the thorough 
and well directed education of females. Experiment has 
already proved, that manual labor may be successfully intro- 
duced into Female Seminaries, and that it is highly conducive 
to health and piety, and adapted to reduce the expenses of 
education, sufficiently to encourage many young ladies to qual- 
ify themselves in such seminaries for fields ot usefulness, who, 
without that encouragement would never have put forth such 
efforts. What has been done on this subject shows the im- 
portance, and proves the feasibility of doing much more. 
It is perfectly in the power of a few families of moderate 
property to rear up such institutions, at this time, in the valley 
of the Mississippi, on a permanent basis, with a great part of 
the endowment required, and on a liberal and extensive scale, 
with great advantage to themselves and families. Such a plan 
is here proposed, with the design, if it may please the Lord, 
to carry it into effect. 


Let a subscription be opened for such Institutions in some 
part of the valley to be fixed upon by a majority of the sub- 
scribers, and when $40,000 shall have been raised, let those 
who propose to settle in the vicinity of the Institutions meet 
and elect a Board of Trustees, who shall have charge of all the 
funds, the appointment of officers, and perform other duties 
usually belonging to trustees of literary institutions. Let a 
committee also be appointed by the subscribers, to locate the 
Institutions, and make a purchase of land under such instruc- 
tions as shall be given them. (See Note 1.) 

2. Let a tract or tracts of land be purchased equal in 
quantity at least, to a town six miles square, at the govern- 
ment price, if it can be so obtained, and let this land, or so 
much of it as may be wanted by the subscribers, be appraised 
at five dollars an acre, on an average ; every subscriber who 
shall purchase eighty acres, or half a quarter section, to be paid 

91 fy y 

for the money subscribed, shall be entitled to the gratuitous 
instruction of one youth in the college, preparatory school, or 
Female Seminary, for twenty-five years, which right may be 
used, rented, or sold at his pleasure. The same privilege shall 
be attached to every eighty acres thus purchased by original 
subscribers. (See Note 2.) 

3. After paying for the laud, the remainder of the fund of 
40,000 dollars, and as much more as the Board of Trustees 
may judge expedient, shall be expended as soon as practicable 
in the erection of college edifices. The title of all land not 
deeded to the original settlers, shall be vested in the Board of 
Trustees. Mill-seats in the tract shall be at their disposal for 
the benefit of the college fund. 

4. Three contiguous sections, of 640 acres, shall be reserved 
for the purposes of the college and the village, to be appro- 
priated as the Board shall order. The village shall be laid out 
into lots by a committee appointed by the subscribers, and ap- 
praised in a manner similar to the farms. Those who choose 
may have a lot, or lots in the village at the same rate that the 
quarter sections of land are appraised on average, with the 
same right of gratuitous education attached. 

5. All the land purchased, except that of the village, after 
supplying the original subscribers, shall be sold or rented, as 
the Board may deem best, for the interests of the college. 
Out of this land and such other money as may be obtained, a 
fund of 50,000 dollars should be set apart in scholarships of 
400 dollars each, as a permanent fund, the interest of which 
shall be applied to defray the expense of tuition and room rent 
for pious and indigent young men who have the ministry in 
view. (See Note 3.) 

The money arising from village lots shall constitute a fund 
for the erection of a Female Seminary and Academy, or a pre- 
paratory school for male youth, and for the support of teachers. 
If the fund amount to more than 50,000 dollars, it may be ap- 
plied to the support of the college. 

6. The college to be established shall be on the manual 
labor plan, every pupil being required to labor not more than 
three, nor less than two hours a day ; on the farm, in the gar- 
den, or in mechanic shops. The course of study shall be lib- 
eral and thorough; the Bible, in the original tongue, shall be 
made a class book ; and among others, there shall be a professor 
who shall perform the special duties of a pastor to the students 
connected with the College and preparatory school. 

^ 92 

The Female Seminary shall be under the care of a gen tie - 
noan, as principal, who shall have the general management and 
spiritual instruction of the pupils. The immediate government 
and literary instruction shall chiefly be committed to ladies. 
The Institution shall be of a high order as it respects instruc- 
tion, and adapted to give such an education as an intelligent 
Christian parent would wish ; and the instruction so directed as 
to qualify the pupils for the business of instructing, or for mis- 
sionary or domestic life. The preservation of health by sys- 
tematic exercise shall receive special attention. Manual labor, 
so far as it may be desired by the parent, or necessary to re- 
duce expense for the encouragement of indigent pupils, shall 
be incorporated with it. 

8. A Theological Seminary, and Medical School, shall be 
established in connection with the College as soon as it shall 
be thought best by the Board, and funds can be raised. 

9. One half of the subscription money shall be payable 
when the sum proposed of 40,000 dollars shall have been sub- 
scribed by responsible persons ; and the other half in one year 
after, with interest from the time the first instalment is due; a 
note being given for the same to the Board of Trustees. 

10. These articles may be amended or altered by the sub- 
scribers comprehended in the original subscription of $40,000 
whenever a majority of them shall think best ; provided no right 
of property is infringed, and the essential constitution and de- 
sign of the literary institutions are not changed thereby. 

NOTE. No. 1. 

In the location of the town, among other considerations healthiness of 
situation, fertility, easiness of access, commercial advantages, and proper 
proportions of timber and prairie land, if possible, should be regarded. 

NOTE. No. 2. 

Five dollars an acre may seem much more than the original price of 
the land; but let it be remembered that the design is of a benevolent 
character, and is addressed chiefly to such as wish to do good. Besides, 
the price of tuition and room rent in our colleges generally, is more than 
the interest of $400, the average amount paid for 80 acres of land and the 
right of education j and in addition to this, the establishment of these 
seminaries will enhance the value of the land, in a short time, more than 
the extra price paid, beside furnishing at once to the settlers all the benefits 
of well regulated society. If the owner of the scholarship does not wish 
to use it, be can easily rent it for the interest of the extra sum of $300 
paid for the land ; as the usual price of tuition and room rent will proba- 
bly be equal to the interest of $400. 

Individuals who may desire to invest more property in land than they 
may wish to take up in the settlement, may easily do it in the vicinity 

93 y 

where the value of the land will be considerably increased by the location 
of such seminaries. 

NOTE. No. 3. 

Scholarships, by a loan of $400 for ten years without interest, the prin- 
cipal to be refunded when the land shall be sold, it is presumed, may bp 
raised for poor and pious young men. This, with other things, must lie 
settled by the original subscribers, or the Board of Trustees, as also how 
far the right of purchasing the land on the conditions herein mentioned 
shall be extended. It is presumed that it will not be extended much be- 
yond the original subscription of $40,000. 




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